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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000144.txt from 2000/07

From: klarAnn-ette h satterfield <klarann@-----.com>
Subj: Re: [kl]A review
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000 03:38:40 -0400

On Sat, 01 Jul 2000 17:52:30 +0100 Tony@-----.uk (Tony Pay)
writes:
>I meant that I posted it wondering whether in the US you had a similar
>problem to the one being complained about in the article.

snip
>That was Emanuel Feuermann -- Heifetz's favourite cellist -- in an
>American newspaper in 1938. Today we hear 'education, education,
>education' but all this appears to mean is 'dumbing down, dumbing down,
>dumbing down'. Just what does 'access' mean if you kill off the product
>you're trying to promote?

This problem is about to wipe out the community orchestra where i live.
The choice of conductor and music director, the scheduling and
programming for two seasons has been driven by this attitude. Not just a
single event, or even with the pops, but everything in the season.

The result?
Shrinking audience. Fast turnover in orchestra personnel. A small noisy
claque, as the local knowledgable thoughtful generous critic in his
review of the past season (paraphrased) wrote: ----- could walk
onstage, announce, "This is the Bud Light Concerto," chug a longneck,
turn, and throw the empty to smash against the backstage wall, and
receive a standing ovation."
That is not much exaggeration. As long as the stage is full of bodies,
and the music ends loud and strong, in the words of (?) PTBarnum, "you
can fool all the people some of the time, some of the people all the
time."

The promotion was strong but the product was weak. The added
*attractions* were poorly coordinated, and most seemed 'h'amaturish,
skit-ish, an ego trip that had little or no relation to the music it was
*enhancing.* The DEtractions missed on both artistic and technical
levels.
With television, movies, touring theater productions, everyone has a
expectations of good production. Missed-cues, dead time, technical
problems are obvious to many more audience members than specifically
musical matters like intonation and rhythm.

Multimedia, integrative arts, what ever the term may be, can work--if
planned by musician who also understands theater, with the support of
competent REHEARSED technical people. But this takes more planning and
requires much more rehearsal time than a plain 'nekkid' orchestra
concert.

A couple of the leading musicians in the area do this with their
student groups, and satisfy both the music and theater audiences in the
same performance.

Done poorly, it satisfies neither.
Or as one of the quieter members of the orchestra mentioned in rebuttal
of the comment that most of our audience doesn't know the difference,
"The orchestra will not lose audience by playing well".

We will not lose audience by playing well.

Ann Satterfield
clarinetist and teacher

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