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06-20-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
Romy the Cat


Boston, MA
Posts 9,486
Joined on 05-28-2004

Post #: 1
Post ID: 19526
Reply to: 19526
Live vs. Recorded transcendent moments.
fiogf49gjkf0d
The brilliant Norman Lebrecht in his wonderful book “Life and Death of Classical Music...” agreed with Arthur Schnabel who insisted that recordings are “against the very nature of performance by eliminating contact between player and listener, dehumanizing the art”. Norman Lebrecht advocate that presents of recordings make listeners to “collect” and to “compare” recordings instead of discovery the transcendent moments during the live consents.

Well, I very much disagree with Mr. Lebrecht. How many transcendent moments during the live consents a person could access? Now I wonder: if the “transcendent moment” took place but Mr. Lebrecht was not present during this concert then what would be chose of Mr. Lebrecht:

A.      Do not acknowledge that “transcendent moment” took place just because he physically was not there.
B.      To have a recording of the event, which would not be not as powerful influence as to be there but it would be better than nothing.

I believe Sergiu Celibidache had this attitude and he felt that not of his recordings are worthy any publishing. Well, I think it is very short minded. People read news for today event in order to be informed. They do not need to go to Africa to suffer from Malaria or to get radiated in Fukushima – they would like to be informed that there is disease in Africa and radiation in Fukushima. If they find that mosquito-borne infectious disease or radiation toxicity is something that they would like to be experienced than they know where to find it.

I think it is the very same with recordings. Of cause recordings do not has the same impact as live events BUT… they have higher impact. During a life time one might hear one or two more or less worthy life consents of the same work, however the same person might have at control of his or her fingers a few truly stunning truly transcendent interpretations of the same piece.

To me it is no brainer what would I chose. I have panty concerts in my life what I was walking out of concert halls during intermission and never returned for the second part. I had two concerts when I demonstrably walked out of the hall right in the middle of performance.  It is about who is in control.  Arthur Schnabel felt that he is in control and it is his consciousness is something that delivers transcendent moments. Well, I feel different. I feel the transcendent moments are subject of perception not expression. How transcendent would be the Arthur Schnabel’s moments if he played in empery hall with no listeners?

Rgs,
Romy the Cat


"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche
06-22-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
rowuk


Germany
Posts 222
Joined on 07-05-2012

Post #: 2
Post ID: 19535
Reply to: 19526
A new breed of musician?
fiogf49gjkf0d
I think that I can relate to both sides.
When we speak about recordings that come from "live" events, the musicians interact with the audience at hand. Generally that means a statistically significant mix of "music lovers", "music analysers", and disinterested spouses along for the ride. One or more virtual people in the audience do not "change" the experience for anyone in the orchestra.
When we talk about studio recordings, those listening (recording engineer, producer) do not offer significant emotional or artistic feedback. In many cases, to keep costs down, a more "secure" method of playing can actually change the goal from musical to economical. The results are often far from trancendental!
I think that the magic moments are not limited to the live experience, but my enjoyment of music is very much based on my early exposure to LIVE music. After a while, the appreciation of such gives us the tools to get the uplifting experience virtually.
If we had great recordings from Bach's era, there would be a lot of guessers out of work........... Just perhaps earlier generations tolerance of minor playing errors caused the performances to be more musically talkative because there was no immediate comparisons.
Perhaps the modern breed of musician has been trained to convey emotion without feedback? There is certainly enough opportunity for the first call studio musicians to practice.


I too walk out on concerts that insult me. A recent performance by 10 (classically trained) Tenors with a plastic piano are a very good example of event thinking.......... that let me walk out in the middle of a tune.


Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
07-21-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
de charlus
Posts 94
Joined on 06-11-2013

Post #: 3
Post ID: 19715
Reply to: 19535
Transcendence et al
fiogf49gjkf0d
I was thinking about this when posting on the "deathbed audio wisdom" thread, where I said that to accept that there is a distinction between live performances and recordings, make peace with the notion, and derive the greatest pleasure from both being my such "wisdom". The thing is that it goes further than difference in sonics, to the experience as a whole and the events and emotions surrounding it. Was one's spouse/girlfriend/date looking spectacular? Did one have dinner before or after the performance, and was it excellent? Did the performance accord with expectations, exceed or defy them? Did the piece, as performed/conducted, add new dimensions to one's understanding of it? Did a particular soloist/section/conductor or entire orchestra give a remarkable performance? If the concert hall was unfamiliar, what were the acoustics like? Did sharing such an experience with said spouse/girlfriend/date intensify that togetherness on the night? What of the shared euphoria of having many lovers of a certain piece gathered together? Some of the most transcendent musical evenings of my life have been made up of such experiences, experiences going well beyond merely the piece of music as performed. Furthermore, the anticipation of these possibilities is a pleasure in itself. Live music is indeed a unique pleasure and if we really expect our home systems ever to duplicate such experiences we are fools, but this is not to suggest that the live event is exclusively transcendent.

On the other side of the coin, any of these possibilities, plus a host of others, can be disappointing in either customary or totally unexpected ways; there is something at times very pleasant about sitting down with a particular recording and knowing exactly what one will get, and it is only through repeated and various listenings of a particular piece that one can really get to its essence, and transcendence, something that cannot be said of the single live event, no matter how great. Of course, one can have a transcendent experience upon hearing a piece for the very first time, but this is a relatively flimsy pleasure, more of an impact, when set aside the real understanding that comes of repeated listenings of various renditions, then to hear the very apogee of that piece, as you see it. The same is true of any piece of complex music; it would be a tall order to entirely familiarize oneself with any given piece of music without the existence of recordings even if one undertook to attend every performance one possibly could, and even if the piece was one of the most commonly performed; only though the degree of familiarity that I speak of here allows one to discern the truly transcendental. In addition, recordings are a boon to those without the income/time/health to travel to the cities or countries in which the legendary concert hall or orchestra in question can be found, and for such persons the fact that excellent recordings made at these venues do exist is a great boon. Only recordings allow us to compare, in detail - my memory, at least, does not allow otherwise - the interpretations of various great conductors/soloists/vocalists, some of whom may even have passed away; two or three of my favorite/most transcendent have been dead for quite some time, yet their greatness is still apparent via their recordings. I believe that true transcendence, the greatest that may be wrung from a piece,  comes from the accumulation of the various interpretations of great instrumentalists and conductors, then for us to some extent to inhabit the mind of the composer, and finally to appreciate its finest rendition(s). Palimpsest over palimpsest, rendition over rendition, an ever-expanding democratic plurality of beauty whose transcendence expands with time, repetition and the passing through of mortal talents. There are also many cases wherein the live performances of a given piece that I've attended do not even approach the transcendence of a particular recording I might own, and this is particularly true of certain more obscure pieces that are not often performed, since economic necessity tends to restrict the great orchestras mostly to performing the "classic" classics, seldom tangling with music that is none the worse for its relative obscurity. How else appreciate the transcendence of a particular live performance if we are not thoroughly familiar with the piece through listening to various recordings? Further, there can be something transcendent about listening to one of one's favorite pieces whilst not bolt upright in an uncomfortable chair being strangled by a bow tie and restricted by a dinner jacket; transcendence can be found even - or especially - with one's head cradled in the lap of one's partner, laying on the sofa in dressing gowns with a fine glass of wine close at hand and one's favorite recording, or even a competent one, of a given piece playing on one's system.

In short, I believe that the transcendence of the live musical event is not restricted to the music alone; it can be, but does not have to be. There can be circumstances under which we experience the reproduction of musical events that add up to transcendence - or transcendent understanding, which comes only with many listenings, be they live, recorded or both - or reproductions that can occasionally be transcendent in and of themselves.
07-22-2013 Post does not mapped to Knowledge Tree
de charlus
Posts 94
Joined on 06-11-2013

Post #: 4
Post ID: 19722
Reply to: 19715
One shortcoming I'd forgotten...
fiogf49gjkf0d
Oh, and there's one more transcendent thing that recorded music will never be able to do; there are few things that appear to me more erotic than Valkyrian female cellists with flowing locks and silk ballgowns rocking their instruments back and forth between their legs as they bow with all the passion of which they are capable as a symphony builds to its crescendo - just a ravishing sight. Femininity, strength, passion and genius in combination is a heady package indeed. Oh, and one more thing; I'm very grateful for the anonymity of the internet....

de Charlus
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