Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Old School?

David Usui, a young film maker in New York, sent me a link to a short film he made featuring Gregory Singer, the conductor of the Manhattan Symphonie. Watching the film, I saw a relatively young man (around my age) playing the first movement of the Bach G-minor Sonata, riding his bike around New York City, and doing a nice job conducting the overture to Die Meistersinger in Carnegie Hall. Usui suggested that Singer was one of a breed of "old-school NYers" who are "quickly vanishing."

Old school? You should meet my New York friends!

Vanishing? Nobody is going anywhere. Musicians continue to be musicians even when there isn't a "market" for music. Ask any "old school" musician (from my old school, in particular), if they would stop doing what they are doing (i.e. being a musician) if the money wasn't there to pay for it.

Usui also added a line saying that classical music is vanishing. I don't think so.

Since Usui was bold enough (being a new reader, and not knowing me personally) to suggest that I might want to put a link to his film on this blog, I will be bold enough to take issue with it, at least a bit.

The camera work and voice over during the Bach Sonata is quite good, though I found myself paying more attention to the music than to what he was saying. The biking around Manhattan in the center of the street gave me the willies, and I would rather have heard Singer elaborate on something other than about riding his bike. He did some nice things in the Bach. I would have enjoyed hearing him talk about that, perhaps. Or his violin shop (which he calls "the office"), or his impressive legacy, or even having a twin sister like Lori Singer (who I remember from Juilliard before she became famous, or should I say Fame-ous).

It would have been a good idea to identify the orchestra he conducts (I had to look it up). The players look rather young. At first I thought that he might have been conducting a youth orchestra.


Marjorie Kransberg-Talvi said...

I just wish Gregory Singer would use a helmet. Can you imagine biking around Manhattan??

Elaine, a quick note of gratitude for all your posts. Your new profile picture is gorgeous.

Elaine Fine said...

Thank you Margie!