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CLASSICAL  March 2007

CLASSICAL March 2007

Subject:

Re: The Man Who Knew Too Much

From:

Edmund Cole <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 8 Mar 2007 12:42:54 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (46 lines)

Janos Gereben posted:

>From Terry Teachout's Saturday Wall Street Journal  "Sightings" column:
>
>Is it possible for a critic to know too much?  Not a chance.
>The unhappy truth is that it's far more common for us not to
>know nearly enough about the art forms we review.  ...

You know I feel that with recordings sometimes.  But with live
performances I usually don't.With recordings I often say to myself that
is not as good as Beecham's or Klemperer's or Furtwangler's performance.
I think it's maybe because I have too much knowledge of the way they
play something and I expect it.  I guess I would say I am jaded and not
as open as I should be to somebody else's way with the piece.  But when
I go to a live performance the immediacy of the event usually trumps the
idiosyncrasies that I have come to look for at certain points in the
performance and I end up thinking this is great.  But I then hear the
performance later on FM broadcast and realize that maybe It wasn't as
good as I first thought.. I guess with recordings you play over and over
again you are maybe refining what you like about the performance where
as with the live event you don't get that chance.  I guess too much of
that can give you that sense of nostalgia for the good old days when we
were young and boy they really knew how to perform the music but I am
not getting that at the live performances I go to.  I am often disappointed
by the rebroadcasts I hear. Makes me wonder how good the original Klemperer
must have been when he did the recording.  Don't get me wrong I think
you can go brain dead but I also know it is easy to get swept up in the
moment and leap to your feet with 2000 other people.  I guess my bottom
line is that I agree with his first statement that you really can't know
too much about the work.  And in any case it is apparent I don't know
so much that I am missing the enjoyment of the live performance I am at.
Not yet anyway.

PS: Wouldn't Glenn Gould love me.  Maybe we should do away with the
performing monkeys at the live concerts.  Get back to a little solitary
listening where you can really concentrate on the music and connect over
the centuries with Bahhh........  the "God of Music".

Ed

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