JWG (jwg) wrote,

At a nice concert today - some observations

This afternoon we went to Jordan Hall - the lovely concert palace in Boston most of whose seats are slightly slanted to one side because of its architectural design - to see Emanuel Ax. Ax is one of the best concert pianists around. He played Beethoven's Sonatas 2 and 21 with Schumann's Humoreske and Papillons between the two,

In a break from the usual where classical music performers don't speak a word, he talked briefly about each Schumann before he played them. He was careful to explain that the humor in the Humoreske was not about being funny but about a wide range of moods.

The last Beethoven sonata, called the Waldstein, is quite an incredible piece - it seemed to me that the piece and the way he played it, particularly in the last movement sounded and felt like there was a whole symphony orchestra playing a symphony. Kudos to Ludvig van and to Mr Ax for this.

One sad observation is that there are very few young people in the audience - where in this case young means under 50! What will be the future of live classical concerts?

During the intermission where there was no half-time show, noone sung God Bless America and we didn't sing Take me out to the concert, a women in a nearby seat asked me if we were related (a common question about whether we are brothers). I replied "yes, by marriage, we are married to each other". She replied with a big smile "Oh, my friend thought it was blood - we made a bet and I won an ice cream cone".

At the beginning of the concert, the Celebrity Series President and Executive Director who often makes a brief speech which includes a warning to turn off cell phones made a longer speech about fund raising. They need more money and had just gotten a matching grant.

This made me think about all the disgusting opportunities they could have for sponsorship as they do in sports these days.

  • changing display ads on the side of the piano selected for appropriateness to the music - much more lucrative that the current practice where it merely says Steinway or the piano manufacturor

  • this piece in the key of e is sponsored by eBay

  • featured in the orchestra is the Delta Airlines triangle

  • high pitched crescendos by Tweeter

  • Emanuel Ax is sponsored by Craftsman Tools

  • glass harmonica by Giant Glass


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