A fan I love

Here’s how I discovered a wonderful classical music fan.

On my iPhone, I have an app called Reportage, which lets you pick up Twitter feeds in your area. Who’s tweeting within a mile of you, within five miles, within ten miles?

Tonight, in a down moment, I played with it. Who’s tweeting within a mile of my apartment in New York? A lot of people, I figured. But not so. There were only about a dozen recent tweeters. Idly, I looked at what a couple of them had been tweeting. It”s fun, sometimes, just to dip into the Twitter stream at random.

And I found @vivzan, who’d gone to a NY Philharmonic concert, probably yesterday. And tweeted from the concert, and loved every bit of it. I’ll quote her tweets here (which I can do because everything on Twitter is public). As a professional, I love her reactions to the music she heard. She responds with such honesty, and such enthusiasm. And she heard exactly what’s there. If we had thousands, tens of thousands, millions of people going to classical concerts, and reacting this freely…

Here’s @vivzan, her NY Phil tweets in the order she sent them:

Ran, fell down some stairs, ripped my jacket, got banged up all to get to NYPhil in time so I can finally hear Ravel’s Bolero played live!

Intermission. Fun piece by Haydn, a trumpet concerto. Who doesn’t love trumpets? Next Copland then Ravel last. Wheee!

Oh nice! The Copland piece is a concerto for clarinet, strings, piano and a harp! It’s gonna be pretty!

Man, the 1st movement of Copland’s was so gorgeous & the 2nd batshit crazy that ppl freaked out w/shouts of bravo, standing O. Wild!

Stanley Drucker, NYPhil’s principal clarinet, retiring this week after 60 yrs, awarded Guiness world record for longest career w/clarinet

Bolero is spectacular live. Seeing musicians change, hearing gradual crescendo & it got really loud! Just so enjoyable! Great night!

Do we need to argue anymore about whether people should tweet from concerts?

(Brief analytical footnote. I think she caught something essential about each piece. The attraction of the Haydn, first and last, is the sound of the trumpet. What else? The Copland is exactly as Vivzan described it. And Bolero — she knows the piece from recordings, never heard it live before, and nails exactly what the difference is. Bravo to her, and someday maybe I’ll learn to be that succinct.)

ADDED LATER: There’s been much talk, here and elsewhere, about tweeting during concerts. Some people think that you’ll disturb other people — and disturb your own listening — if you do it. I’m not disturbed if other people tweet while music is playing, but I don’t like to do it myself, because then I don’t listen. So, in that connection, note that @vivzan didn’t t seem to be tweeting during the music. I think it’s clear that she tweeted before the concert, between pieces, at intermission, and after the concert ended.

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  1. Yvonne says

    That beautiful succinctness seems to be the result of her tweeting not during the performance but from the performance: before/after pieces, at intermission, while a presentation’s being made to a musician…

    So she sums up her reaction or anticipatory thought and shares that, in precisely the way (and at the same time) you’d share a quick thought with a companion at the concert itself. That feels right.

  2. Joe Shelby says

    60 years? wow…that puts him as one of the last from the Bernstein era (as well as the Masur era, etc etc). I ought to go watch a “Young Peoples Concert” today…

  3. says

    Greg, I love this post.

    Succinct and to the point. And the candidness! The raw reality of it! That is what made those tweets so personal, and GREAT!

    I think I’ll use those tweets in my Juilliard course on music criticism. Seriously. They convey something that most reviews don’t get close to.