Thursday, November 10, 2011

Performance Practice

I really like the way the Zemlinsky Quartet plays this piece, but it disturbs me to see that every time the violist has a solo, he faces out to the audience. I don't know for sure if turning your head to the audience (and the requisite few inches that the viola's scroll faces them) increases the amount of sound you produce on the viola, but I sure find it a distraction to have choreography tell me where I should focus my attention.

But I suppose that this is 21st century performance practice, and we'll just have to live with it. Just like the stomping that some quartets do (and this quartet does only occasionally).



Wow, that is a terrific performance - and it makes me remember how often I underrate Dvorak. The guy knew how to write. My daughter's chamber music ensemble has been working on his Bagatelles recently, mainly because I hadn't gotten around to finishing some arrangements for their unusual 2violin/cello/piano instrumentation - but the bagatelles are absolutely charming and beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I find the violist far too modest in his choreography. Rather than merely TURNING to the audience, facing out and away from his colleagues whenever our beloved Antonin writes a few nutmeats into his part, why not simply rise rise from his chair, walk to the edge of the stage, and dance a Bohemian jig for the audience, lest they miss any of his shenanigans.
Hello! He's a member of a GROUP; let him impress us such with his artistry, moving the hearers through their ears, not their eyes.
I find the entire performance too nervous and out of balance; miss some of the 1st violin part because of rushing, fast fingers taking precedence over clarity. If you're in a rush, take a later train home.