We seem to have gone back in time, as nowadays we unfortunately enjoy our musical encounters more with our eyes than with our ears, as if concerts were intended for deaf people. Everyone should enjoy a blind person's experience: bouncing around and madly waving bows or batons obviously would be of no use.Talvi's "time travel" refers, of course, to the extravagances and showmanship of the 19th century. Now that we are a decade into the 21st century, I'm becoming nostalgic for the 20th century of my youth. I remember (with deep fondness) the experience of going to hear concerts rather than going to see concerts. I also remember (with deep fondness) when "classical music" was not "cool" and was not "sexy." It was about substance over surface--for the most part. The "stars" were often ordinary looking, and sometimes they were downright homely, but we loved them because of the way they played.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011
21st Century Performance Practice
Ilkka Talvi compares a photograph of the Takacs Quartet with the Joachim Quartet in his post "Then and Now," and makes a truly valid point about the way high-profile concerts have essentially "devolved":