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CLASSICAL  January 2009

CLASSICAL January 2009

Subject:

Re: Perlman - Applause Mandatory

From:

Ravi Narasimhan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Tue, 27 Jan 2009 12:23:32 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (93 lines)

Steve Schwartz  responds to me:

>> It seems to me that 'dialogue' in this
>> context means the artists and/or critics get to talk at the audience,
>> which is supposed to take its medicine and be grateful.
>
> Actually, that is the absolute contrary of my experience: the artist
> chooses "sure-thing" pieces so that the audience buys tickets and doesn't
> boo.

Maybe it is geographical.  That is not the case here in Los Angeles.

[ Perlman in FL ]

> Again, I wasn't there, and I tend to encourage booing as a corrective
> to the automatic Final Rapture.  However, I don't understand why people
> treat the opportunity to learn something as an insult.

I wonder what would happen if I booed at Disney Hall.  I'm not looking
for an excuse to do it but will report back if it occurs.  I did quietly
walk out of a piece recently (Andriessen - Hague Hacking) but I had an
aisle seat and didn't have to inconvenience anyone.

re: learning something - I have no objection to it if that's what
was on the program.  I'd be equally disappointed if I went to a
lecture/demonstration and the artist just played pieces straight through.
I will admit that I like spontaneity when it is carefully planned and I
have time to accustom myself to the possibility.

[ LA Phil mixing modern/older repertoire ]

> Did you understand Kant or Rilke the first time you read them?  Was
> that because they were of lesser intellectual or poetic power?  Why do
> you assume this should be true for music?

I'm not that up on poetry.  I've had better luck with appreciating
some modern playwrights but there's a contingent of highly experimental
authors, frequently programmed in the smaller houses, that I just couldn't
grok during a time where I attended theatre very frequently.

> It took me decades before I "got" Brahms or Sibelius -- decades, I
> might add, of serious, relentless listening.

Interesting.  I'd be curious to know why you thought it was important
to listen to them so intently as opposed to other choices you may have
had.  I've liked Brahms and Sibelius from the start.  Stravinsky is
growing on me slowly, Shostakovitch has made more sense after our
response to 9/11, and Schoenberg continues to elude me.

... However, don't assume that your taste is somehow eternal and
> universal or more deserving of program space than that of Salonen and
> his crowd.  In short, I put up with the stuff that appeals to you.
> Please do me the same courtesy.
>
>> I had to listen to glurgitudinous Part last week to get to a Brahms.
>
> How you must have suffered!

He suffered for his music... and then, it was my turn.  ;-)

>> If he [Perlman] had
>> wanted to do a lecture demonstration and performance on Messiaen, he
>> should have said as much and let the promoters organize it as such.
>
> Why treat contemporary or modern music as a special case?  So people can
> avoid it more easily?

For me: Context and expectation.  The LA Phil has a contemporary music
series, Green Umbrella.  Its patrons go in expecting the new and different.
Wouldn't seem right to me if a performer decided on the spur of the
moment to give them Bach, straight-up.  And I don't think that it is
that far-fetched.  The GU series is said to attract people unfamiliar
with the classical repertoire but very attuned to what's happening in
current music, broadly defined.

>> Maybe the future is truly digital.  Concerts will be streamed to those
>> who can receive them and we can pay for those pieces we want to hear.
>> Until then we either stay out of the auditorium for portions of our
>> paid-for concerts or carry earplugs.
>
> Sounds like another circle of intellectual hell to me.

Perhaps.  But it is home to some of us!

(Enjoyed the discussion, by the way.  Thanks for taking the time.)

--- Ravi

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