Gilbert asks: I have to say, listening to you describe these performances makes me miss out on the grandeur of a live performance corridor, type of in the similar way I miss the largeness of a movie display screen. Section of encountering art outside the house my residence is the potential to be confused, and as many speakers as I could possibly have, or as massive as my Television set could possibly be, it obviously doesn’t truly feel the identical. I’ve only started to go to see dwell classical music in earnest in the previous 3 or 4 years. You have been doing it for a lot for a longer period, and I have to think about the longing is further.
You a short while ago wrote a excellent piece, “Notes Toward Reinventing the American Orchestra,” which is whole of good recommendations for how classical music businesses may well transform post-pandemic. What do not you want to change?
Tony responses: Ah, what I really don’t want to alter in classical audio, what will under no circumstances transform, I’m persuaded, is the sheer sensual enjoyment, ecstasy even, of currently being immersed in the sound of a good orchestra, a fine string quartet, a radiant soprano. And to experience that you should experience this artwork form reside.
As a child, I 1st got to know numerous pieces by way of recordings. And in the course of the pandemic it typically feels like recordings are all we have. But developing up, what at last hooked me on classical tunes was hearing the pianist Rudolf Serkin and the New York Philharmonic under Bernstein at Carnegie Corridor in Beethoven’s mighty “Emperor” Concerto and owning a standing-room ticket as a young teenager to hear the celebrated soprano Renata Tebaldi, with her luxurious voice, as Desdemona in Verdi’s “Otello” at the Metropolitan Opera or, a very little later, listening to Leontyne Price’s comfortable, sustained significant notes in “Aida” soar upward and surround me in a balcony seat at the Met. I only vaguely realized what these operas have been about. I did not treatment.
And what I’m declaring goes for much more personal songs, also. Only when you hear a wonderful string quartet performing operates by Haydn, Shostakovich or Bartok in a corridor that seats just a handful of hundred do you definitely understand what would make “chamber music” so overwhelming. But it will make a enormous distinction to hear a symphony, whether by Mozart or Messiaen, in a lively, inviting live performance hall.
Gilbert asks: You’ve demonstrated this to me numerous situations in excess of the earlier a few a long time — I’m pondering of the time you took me to hear “The Rite of Spring” at Carnegie Corridor and I walked out gobsmacked. (I know, this kind of a rookie.) Or the time I uncovered my eyes welling up at the finish of Samuel Barber’s “Knoxville, Summertime of 1915” at David Geffen Corridor. I just don’t think I would have felt those people similar feelings listening to all those pieces at home.