Kevin Sutton replies to David Lamb:
> James Ehnes, Gil Shaham and others smile when they perform. Hell, I
> smile when I sing, that's what I was trained to do. Perhaps I am being
> too hard on Hilary Hahn, but she's a pro. She's playing with orchestras
> all over the world, and first and foremost, MUSIC is a form of
> She's getting paid more in a weekend than I make in a year. She can
> freakin' SMILE when she does it.
An evening where I once witnessed Gil Shaham performing is among my
most underwhelming musical experiences, ever. Maybe he was having a bad
night. Either way, though, he could've smiled all the way around the
block and it wouldn't have swung the teeniest difference.
I once heard Isaac Stern play, but was too far from the stage to make
out his facial expression. Ditto for Vadim Repin and a few others whose
performances still resonate musically with me in the most superlative
way. I even recall a performance on TV(?!) where the pianist was sweating
profusely, almost obscenely, struggling away like a longshoreman to play
the Emperor Concerto right. Still, by the end of it my 5-year-old was
gawping at me in near alarm, as I'd been flooded with inexplicable tears.
(My only such event.)
Which is to say, I'm indifferent to the facial expressions of a Heifetz
or any other -- even considering that those are posed photographs on
their CD covers, and maybe their mums or managers might've steered them
to look more friendly. The very idea that these artists owe me something
facially, even qua performers, strikes me as faintly absurd.
Musically, on the other hand, yes: I expect wonders, and sometimes get
The CLASSICAL mailing list is powered by L-Soft's renowned LISTSERV(R)
list management software together with L-Soft's HDMail High Deliverability
Mailer for reliable, lightning fast mail delivery. For more information,
go to: http://www.lsoft.com/LISTSERV-powered.html