Visiting the cows and sheep

cows blog

I'm on vacation, till September. Gone off to the gloriously lovely spot we go to nearly every summer, in Britain's Yorkshire Dales. Staying in a 17th century house that might be visited by cows, if they escape from a farmer's field. And then peer through the French doors of our dining room! (Cows are easy to chase away. They're timid. Sheep -- which also escape, and visit us -- are much more stubborn.) So I won't be blogging again till after Labor Day. I'll approve comments for a week, perhaps, and then look at them very lazily, if at … [Read more...]

Playing more vividly — second post

contrast blog

[Continuing my thoughts about why we should play more vividly, if we want a new audience.] Here's an exercise. Look at the score of a Haydn or Mozart symphony. You'll see contrasts between piano and forte, between soft music and loud, occurring throughout, clearly marked by the composers. Who -- very clearly -- wanted parts of the music to be loud, and other parts to be soft. And, evidently, relished the contrast. So now listen to performances, live or recorded, and ask yourself if you're hearing the contrasts the composers clearly liked … [Read more...]

Playing more vividly, for the new audience

vivid-music-forartsake-studio blog

At last I've gotten to the last part of my long disquisition -- which was longer than I meant it to be, and maybe longer than it should have been. Loyal readers will remember I said that the highest priority for the classical music world should be to build a new audience, and that this would require doing three things: making performances feel more lively,  playing repertoire that reflects contemporary life, and -- finally -- playing all music, but especially the old masterworks, more vividly. That last point bothered some people, including … [Read more...]