Or as I like to call it, reverse-taxidermy. Something clearly needed in the classical music scene, unless we want to preserve the music like a misguided owner preserves their dead dog. Its all so stuffy, no excitement- and the greatest thrill outside of the music is the occasional cough in the audience. Every once in a while you'll get a real hacker, and all you can do is wait in anticipation for them to be ok again. No dancing in the aisles, no boos or hisses, rare are the cheers, just smugness.
But I digress. There’s a real problem with all this, and that is the expectations of the audience. Many who show up for classical music concerts, I don’t doubt, are not there because of some sincere love for the art, but because its so high-class to go. Dress up all fancy and parade around, listen to the old masters in complete silence and seriousness. They like it stuffy, that’s what they're there for, if it didn’t have the reputation, they wouldn’t be there.
So we're a little stuck then, as these misguided fellows probably have some money in their pockets and purses. The orchestra cant change it up, the taxidermists would cry foul and maybe revoke their memberships and all that, so what do orchestras do? they appeal to these people. They accept the image as there remains no financial alternative.
But i propose that we give our orchestras two faces: The old, lifeless face to appeal to our wealthy taxidermists- and a fresh, invigorating concert- maybe with, *gasp*, new music as part of the repertoire: 20th century to contemporary. This is the only pragmatic(?) solution i cant come up with. I wouldn’t mind opinions on this one (and i love opinions).
Maybe I’m wrong, maybe the orchestra leaders really love it stuffy, and obviously these generalities wont apply everywhere.
Hilde Zadek at 100
15 hours ago