November 24, 2014

"I almost feel sorry for the people in that black-and-white 1951 video who needed to sit through all that..."

"... instead of being able to live in the present, when you can go through a bunch of different versions on your computer and choose to listen to your favorite one."


john said...

I let Van Cliburn, Horowitz, Olga Kern, Valentina Lisitsa,and Wuja Wang each audition for me (on Utube) Rachmaninov's 3rd piano concerto before experiencing it in person last week. They were all in black-and-white and full-on-color wonderful and added immensely to my appreciation of the work, live.

I love Utube for that.

Krumhorn said...


- Krumhorn

Bryan Townsend said...

I'm always a bit puzzled about all the fuss over different performances. And this is from someone who was a professional performer for thirty years. Yes, the minute details are certainly important if you are the performer, muttering to yourself afterwards that you rushed this phrase or that. But as I listen now, as long as the performance is reasonably accurate, the differences aren't hugely important to me. Mind you, yes, concertos are a bit different as the individuality of the soloist is pretty important. When it comes to violin concertos I pretty much prefer Hilary Hahn to anyone else. But for most orchestral music, Haitink, Karajan, Gergiev, whomever, all are fine. What I am listening to is what does not fluctuate from performance to performance: the structure, weight, span, substance of the piece.

Rather than spending hours and hours choosing the perfect performance (as if there even was such a thing) I would much rather listen to some more pieces. Instead of picking out exactly which Sinfonia Concertante is the best played, I would rather listen to all of Mozart's concertos.

But that's just me...