Steve Schwartz on symphony programming:
> I've never argued for exclusively Modern or Contemporary programming.
> To me that's just as bad as the Top Fifty programming in vogue now.
> However, it strikes me as both strange and unhealthy for the long-term
> survival of classical music that we hear so little of it live, and mostly
> stuff within a certain 150-200 year period. In my opinion, it's not
> because the pieces played are necessarily superior (although most of
> them are), but because the audience simply doesn't know how to listen
> to anything outside that period. *That* state of affairs won't improve
> until orchestras are willing to stop ignoring the necessity to educate
> -- both themselves and the customers. It's a sad state of affairs indeed
> when I have heard more music than many professional musicians. It really
> seems to me that I'm witnessing a slow, protracted death of a product
> called Classical Music, rather than the promotion of a living art.
Perhaps we are just seeing the slow death of the professional symphony
orchestra - a beautiful dinosaur which can't find the resources to sustain
it, but will be missed.
Chamber music concerts, held in small halls, the groups not obligated
to add to Yo Yo Ma's bank account,or meet a a seven figure payroll, are
a different matter, Next weekend the Borromeo Quartet will play a program
in the chapel at Forest Hills Cemetery consisting of a Haydn OPUS 76
QUARTET, the Bartok Third, and the Beethoven Grosse Fugue, the last two
fully worthy of the title Willfull Music. Based on past experience the
hall will be full.
And of course there is recorded music. Many musicians, the conductor
of the Boston Symphony for example, consider cds as mere souvenirs of
the live performance - which is the Real Thing. There is some merit in
this. I attended a BSO rehearsal a few weeks ago and heard a marvelous
performance of Shostakovich's Fourth Symphony conducted by Mark Elder.
During the final crescendo the hall seemed to shake. I don't think that
a recording could have done justice to this, which in some sense is the
core of the work.
But recorded music with all is limitations allows the music lover
access to a huge repertory beyond the wildest dreams of the wealthiest
and most powerful music lovers of two centuries ago. And this evolving
technology may in fact keep classical music alive.
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