Gilbert asks: I’ve to say, listening to you describe these performances makes me miss the grandeur of a live performance corridor, form of in the identical approach I miss the largeness of a film display screen. A part of experiencing artwork exterior my house is the potential to be overwhelmed, and as many audio system as I might need, or as huge as my TV is perhaps, it clearly doesn’t really feel the identical. I’ve solely began to go to see dwell classical music in earnest up to now three or 4 years. You’ve been doing it for for much longer, and I’ve to think about the longing is deeper.
You latterly wrote a beautiful piece, “Notes Towards Reinventing the American Orchestra,” which is stuffed with sensible ideas for the way classical music organizations may change post-pandemic. What don’t you need to change?
Tony solutions: Ah, what I don’t need to change in classical music, what’s going to by no means change, I’m satisfied, is the sheer sensual pleasure, ecstasy even, of being immersed within the sound of an amazing orchestra, a effective string quartet, a radiant soprano. And to expertise that you have to expertise this artwork kind dwell.
As a child, I first obtained to know numerous items by recordings. And in the course of the pandemic it usually appears like recordings are all we’ve got. However rising up, what lastly hooked me on classical music was listening to the pianist Rudolf Serkin and the New York Philharmonic underneath Bernstein at Carnegie Corridor in Beethoven’s mighty “Emperor” Concerto; and having a standing-room ticket as a younger teenager to listen to the celebrated soprano Renata Tebaldi, along with her luxurious voice, as Desdemona in Verdi’s “Otello” on the Metropolitan Opera; or, a bit of later, listening to Leontyne Worth’s mushy, sustained excessive notes in “Aida” soar upward and encompass me in a balcony seat on the Met. I solely vaguely knew what these operas have been about. I didn’t care.
And what I’m saying goes for extra intimate music, too. Solely while you hear a terrific string quartet performing works by Haydn, Shostakovich or Bartok in a corridor that seats only a few hundred do you actually perceive what makes “chamber music” so overwhelming. However it makes an enormous distinction to listen to a symphony, whether or not by Mozart or Messiaen, in a energetic, inviting live performance corridor.
Gilbert asks: You’ve confirmed this to me a number of occasions over the previous three years — I’m considering of the time you took me to listen to “The Ceremony of Spring” at Carnegie Corridor and I walked out gobsmacked. (I do know, such a rookie.) Or the time I discovered my eyes welling up on the finish of Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville, Summer time of 1915” at David Geffen Corridor. I simply don’t suppose I’d have felt those self same feelings listening to these items at dwelling.