I am becoming increasingly convinced that the solution to classical music's current problems lies not with the fashionable mantra of increased accessibility, but rather in the fuzzy area that lies between science and pseudoscience. An earlier post touched on Bell's theorem, which asserts that one subatomic 'object' can affect another such object without even the slightest interval of time or space separating them. This could mean that in classical music the composer, performer, audience, instruments, hall acoustic, physical performance space, climactic and environmental conditions, in fact every aspect of physical and cultural landscape, are connected more deeply and subtly than is currently thought.Read the whole post "If classical music is not live it is dead" over at On An Overgrown Path.
I can listen to a recording a hundred times and have a different experience each time, but my listening experience has everything to do with me and nothing to do with the people who made the recording. A great recording can be an excellent document, and it can be extremely exciting, but it can't be more than either a document of an event, or a rendered object. It can't do anything other than repeat itself over and over, and in order even to do that it requires a machine. A recording also only engages one of our senses, and we do have at least five.
Being present at a concert, as either a performer or as a member of an audience, is a different experience from that of listening to a recording. The presence and the relevance of a moment simply cannot be captured in any more than a superficial way, even with the finest audio and video equipment. The presence and relevance of a moment can be enhanced by technology, but the experience, in that case, is being controlled by a director, a producer, an audio engineer, and/or camera operators. The resulting object can be terrific, but it can never be more than an object.
Moments of true excitement can't be planned. The groundwork can be set, and people can have expectations, but nobody can pre-determine the actual moments when a musical-chemical reactions will happen (or even if they will happen). That's part of the fun.
That's one reason the above post from "On An Overgrown Path" is so relevant.