I think audiences today in the US are more "polite" (some would say "restained" or "detached") than
times past. I have some old recordings of concerts at Carnegie Hall and other venues, mostly
transcriptions of broadcasts, and you hear constant coughing and shuffling, and often applause
between movements. Orchestras seemed to pause more between movements back then, expecting applause.
I wonder if the LP era and classical's "golden age" of recordings got audiences used to shorter
pauses between movements, and some sort of cultural change caused a group-think that classical music
must be reverently enjoyed in silence. I remember being discouraged from reading program notes while
the orchestra played during a school trip, as if I can't listen when I'm reading. Meanwhile, how
long can a kid pay rapt attention to men and women in black suits moving bows across strings?
In today's multi-media age, I wonder why more orchestras don't at least explore, if not adopt, the
concept of accompanying classical music to light shows and/or other visual events. Is it somehow
"mind pollution" for another artist to suggest what colors and/or images may accompany the music?
What if anyone with a wifi device in the hall could create their own visual entertainment, triggered
by the ambient audio and/or some sort of sync to the score, on their iPads and cellphones (with the
damn ringers turned off, of course - perhaps the app could do that automatically when it's
launched!). I think it would make the genre more mainstream, boost appreciation for the idea that
music can be deep and complex and subtle (as opposed to stereotypically simple and silly, like most
pop hits). Don't forget that Scriabin wrote detailed notes on light shows to accompany his solo
piano music, and Hilde Somer re-created some of that entertainment in the 60's. Also, I would
suggest that Virgil Fox's tour of rock venues with the massive Rodgers Organ and accompanying
psychodellic light show, exposed more people to the music of Bach than all of the symphony concerts
in the world occuring in the same time frame.
Here are two of Virgil Fox's "Heavy Organ" concerts:
(registration required, lossy streaming audio, but you'll get the idea)
Bottom line, who cares if people applaud between movements? Take the stuffiness out of the concert
hall and the music will live on in "the masses."
One caveat to my populism -- notice I don't advocate dilluting classical music with silly
"crossover" dreck. It should remain a highly skilled affair, with close contact to the heritage of
the art, and the worst thing to do is think that poptart "singers" or whatever else is popular at
the moment has any place mixing in with Beethoven. And idiotic "theme" albums like "Bach for the
Bathroom" or whatever just make the music seem dumb and boring. These are marketing ploys created by
small minds, not artistic expansion of a music form into the modern arena of mixed-media arts.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carl Pultz" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, August 16, 2012 8:00 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] FW: [ARSCLIST] Beethoven Violin Concerto on YouTube
> Applause after 1st mvmnt!
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Shai Drori
> Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2012 5:21 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] FW: [ARSCLIST] Beethoven Violin Concerto on YouTube
> A really nice performance. Listening in bed for the night.
> Sent from my ringing donkey
>> There is this outstanding performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto I
> have just discovered.
>> It's by Zino Francescatti,and The New York Philharmonic,under Dimitri
> Mitropoulos.It is obviously a concert recording.Can anybody
>> tell me when it was done,and if it was ever issued?