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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000176.txt from 1999/06

From: "Kevin Fay (LCA)" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Standing is bad (further flame bait)
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 23:37:16 -0400

Edwin V. Lacy noted about performers:

<<<They *should* be exciting. They should be *musically* exciting. While
this requires that the performer not look like they are dead or nearly so,
but it does not require that they dance, wave the bell of the instrument in
the air, or otherwise choreograph the music.>>>

While this is perhaps not how I would put it, I must second the emotion.
The finest violinist I have ever heard/seen was Heifitz; other than his
fingers and right arm, he could have been made of stone. V. Horowitz plays
piano the same way. When I go to a concert, I pay for music, not for
dancing--I get downright annoyed watching the cloying behavior of some of
today's "soloists." I don't really care that their rendition of the
fill-in-the-blank concerto is producing some sort of sexual ecstasy--the
sounds coming out of their instrument don't appear to either.

How many times have we all suffered from a conductor who, while putting on a
great show for the audience, actually does nothing but wave their hands
until the music stops? You know the ones--they typically drop the baton for
"super-emotional" moments, and look like they are kneading bread. Of
course, at that point they neither keep a beat or transmit any other useful
information to the musicians, which after all is their only function.

The movement of other musicians can be equally as distracting. I'm not
talking about the visual cues passed back and forth in chamber music--I mean
the idiot in the row ahead of you who thumps their foot (always loudly)
EXACTLY one-half beat behind the rest of the group, and plays that way to
boot. Or the goofball who conducts from the bassoon section, never mind
that there is a perfectly good conductor standing up front. All pet peeves.


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