Gilbert asks: I’ve to say, listening to you describe these performances makes me miss the grandeur of a live performance corridor, type of in the identical manner I miss the largeness of a film display. A part of experiencing artwork outdoors my house is the potential to be overwhelmed, and as many audio system as I might need, or as huge as my TV may be, it clearly doesn’t really feel the identical. I’ve solely began to go to see dwell classical music in earnest prior 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 lately wrote a beautiful piece, “Notes Towards Reinventing the American Orchestra,” which is stuffed with good ideas for the way classical music organizations would possibly change post-pandemic. What don’t you wish to change?
Tony solutions: Ah, what I don’t wish 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 awesome orchestra, a high-quality string quartet, a radiant soprano. And to expertise that you should expertise this artwork type dwell.
As a child, I first received to know numerous items by way of recordings. And in the course of the pandemic it usually seems like recordings are all we now have. However rising up, what lastly hooked me on classical music was listening to the pianist Rudolf Serkin and the New York Philharmonic beneath 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, together with her luxurious voice, as Desdemona in Verdi’s “Otello” on the Metropolitan Opera; or, just a little later, listening to Leontyne Value’s comfortable, sustained excessive notes in “Aida” soar upward and encompass me in a balcony seat on the Met. I solely vaguely knew what these operas had been about. I didn’t care.
And what I’m saying goes for extra intimate music, too. Solely whenever 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. But it surely makes an enormous distinction to listen to a symphony, whether or not by Mozart or Messiaen, in a vigorous, 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 season of 1915” at David Geffen Corridor. I simply don’t suppose I’d have felt those self same feelings listening to these items at house.