Steven Smolian wrote:
> When a performer has a bad day in the concert hall and he recorded
> without being aware that it is a "recording session." A radio broadcast
> was made with the expectation that it would vanish at the end of the
> broadcast. The idea of recording from the audience, out of balance,
> etc., was clearly so illegal that many never considered it at all.
> Until the miniatrre tape recorder, that is.
> This obsession with making public every performance instance can be one
> reason for the "tightening up" of performances that might otherwise be
> more relaxed, intended for the hearing of the paying audience only. Are
> we becoming an intrusive "recorderrazzi"?
> This is clearly an ethical issue. Having said this, I confess to
> enjoying musical performance gossip as much as the next guy.
> Steve Smolian
While not disagreeing with your point at all, let me suggest the other
side of the coin. The persistence (not to say permanence) of recording
freezes imperfections as well as achievements. That becomes a factor
leading to sterility of studio recording and the drive for preserving
the excitement and 'truth' of live performance, warts and all.
The fact is that a studio recording is differently inauthentic but
overall neither more nor less honest than one from the audience. The
ethics may also be argued - where does piracy begin and legitimate
preservation end? In a sense, Lionel Mapleson's recordings from the
wings of the Met in 1900 may have been the first music piracy.
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