Weekend Reading: Sandow and Ross

Greg Sandow has a new episode posted in his The Future of Classical Music online book. As always, worthwhile and important reading. And he’s been blogging up a storm lately, too.

Speaking of worthwhile blog reading, Alex Ross, the music critic of The New Yorker, did a blog post today about the classical-music-in-jeans experiment Stephanie Gurga and I did at DePauw back in August. “Classical chaos,” he calls it.

I found out about Ross’s post from a notification if a new comment posted to my morning-after invitation for feedback from the audience.

I’m a classical musician who’s very comfortable with applause between movements, casual dress, performers talking before and/or after pieces, and other breaches of conventional concert decorum. On the other hand my colleagues and I work hard to learn what we do, and we’re pretty good at it–good enough, anyway, that we’re not embarrassed to charge admission. What I saw on the short video clip (linked from Alex Ross’ blog) was two musicians who know what they’re doing, and a cluster of people who can’t dance and were just grandstanding. Doesn’t ability make a difference? If people who know how to do the waltz feel like waltzing to the second movement of the Arensky D minor piano trio, go for it. If klutzes want to upstage the musicians with an improvised quasi-polka, no thanks. . . .

Here are all my relevant blog posts, if you are just joining the discussion (in order of appearance):

Let’s see, it’s almost mid-November. The colleague who stopped speaking to me for a while after the “chaos” concert is being friendly again. I won’t forward him the link to Ross’s post!

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