27.2.14

gilgamesh

I deliver my review to Burning Ambulance

Today I make a triumphal return to the pages of Burning Ambulance with my short review of Éva Polgár and Sándor Vály’s Gilgamesh. More to come soon.

8.10.13

not queen, not duke, not prince


Some follow-up to the previous post, on what I would try to do were I Music Director of an orchestra in Utopia:

--in line with more concerts and an economy of abundance would be lower tickets prices

--the atmosphere at concert music concerts is daunting to some people, mostly people new to the experience, and I really don't know what the answer is. I like to dress up to go to concerts and, especially, the opera, but I have absolutely no problem with people who don't

--the applause issue is complicated beyond my poor powers to resolve it. Applauding after a solo in jazz is expected, and the rhythm section can vamp until the applause subsides, but there is no such vamping in concert music. And the shushing of clapping after movement is as distracting as the applause itself might be. Plus, there are many pieces with movements that seem to call for applause at their conclusions, so, as I said, I don't know the answer to that one

--other audience sound, such as talking, and other distraction, texting, etc. Concert music typically has a wider range of volume levels than do other kinds of music, and the "average" volume level of concert music in undoubtedly lower than most others, and if the audience is talking one may miss some music; common courtesy towards one's fellow concert-goers would seem to be in order

--the balance between being welcoming to new and inexperienced audiences and respecting the ability of others to experience the music in a focused way is not an easy thing to achieve

--theme concerts are, or can be, a very good thing. They can also be achingly precious, so tread lightly

--composer birthday concerts are too easy and too common, unless it's mine, and you take me out to dinner afterwards