Monday, June 19, 2017

Classical Smackdown

The Guardian has an account of an unusual sort of concert: Eine kleine slam poetry: Mozart comes to Shoreditch:
Classical Smackdown is roughly equivalent to a boozy poetry slam. While the venue is informal and the alcohol flows freely, no concessions are made to the repertoire. Hearing solo classical music away from any sort of ceremony, completely on its own terms, highlights the simplicity and accessibility of what one might tend to see as complex pieces: contrapuntal Bach partitas and Gypsy dances full of flying staccato technique.
So far it sounds totally cool...
“In an ideal concert, you can chat to the audience a bit before,” says Balanas. “But in the classical world, it’s usually the case that you go on, you bow, you play: you don’t get to interact. Performing here becomes daunting in a different way, because your onstage persona becomes much more of a focus.”
But now I see the problem. Like virtually every other attempt to "improve" the classical music concert, it does so by making it all about the personalities of the performers and the audience. More narcissism! "You don't get to interact" in a traditional classical concert? Just with the music, dude.

But I loved this picture of the MC:

How about some Mozart, just to remind us what we missed? This is the Fantasia in C minor, K. 475 played by Friedrich Gulda:



Will Wilkin said...

I don't expect to ever be involved in anything called a "smackdown." I can tell it's not me.

Marc Puckett said...

Personality, sentimentality, sensibility, self-absorption, triviality-- what an age we live in!

Bryan Townsend said...

"Boozy poetry slam" and "contrapuntal Bach partitas" just don't seem to work together, do they?

Marc Puckett said...

On the other hand, if I have to go to a bar I would rather listen to two violinists or guitarists 'compete' than to the noisome stuff that usually is on in such places. :-)

Bryan Townsend said...

That is an absolutely brilliant observation!