Herman West

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About Herman West

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  1. Emma S-W's arguments are rather stale, if I may say so. Yes, more people listen to pop music than to Beethoven. It has always been that way. Even when Beethoven was alive and working, even though popular music wasn't yet reproduced in the way it is now. It's only natural more people pass the lower bar of sophistication (and yes, there is some rock that is very sophisticated). Obviously that doesn't mean classical musicians should cross over or even, play standing up so as to look more 'with it' (though, if they want to, I'n fine with that). There is a solid audience for hard co
  2. To a degree this is just a bucket list myth. I live fairly close to the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and yet most of my unforgettable concert memories (as a listener, obviously) were in other places. And those are a combination of program, musicians and last but not least, anticipation and just plain receptiveness on my part.
  3. I believe it is about international travel. The other day, watching one of those superb Wigmore Hall livestreams I noticed people from Asia and the US in the comments bar saying they could not wait to travel to London to hear a Wigmore Hall recital. If we keep on living that way it'll be a couple of years and there is a new pandemic. Intercontinental travel for leisure purpose (i.e. to fight boredom and spend excess money) should be a thing of the past. There should be other ways to keep some sizzle in one's marriage. This will mean bragging about one's travels (one of the main
  4. Yes, and are you aware where this is coming from? Used to be music people regarded Tchaikovsky and his compatriots as lesser composers because they were of "the Slavic race" (a construct since abandoned, but living on in these value judgements about the culture). Brahms and Elgar were better as was shown by their superior contrapuntal skills. And primarily they were of the "German race", thus more "objective," manly, and less prone to "wallowing". We all know where this type of thinking ended. And then there's also the issue of Tchaikovksy's sexual orientation... I both like Tch
  5. I wasn't saying a performer should not have strong feelings about what the music he or she is playing is "about" for him. I'm just not sure that a teacher or mentor should tell a student what to picture while playing the music. I'd think this is a part of artistic freedom and imagination.
  6. I cannot help but notice Vengerov is giving some kind of running commentary as to "what's happening in the music" - stuff about Fate and the Soul being liberated... Really? How desirable is it that a young performer is fed that kind of stuff?
  7. Are you aware that HIP, and musicians like Harnoncourt, Brüggen and Leonhardt have been around (they're all dead now) for more than fifty years? This is not some new-fangled thing...
  8. Because it's obviously a scam and somebody's getting robbed?
  9. Probably the Brahms e-minor (the opening) is just a very good way to assess the abilities and weaknesses of an instrument one's unfamiliar with. GBS was a writer who could write entertainingly about music, and pose as a 'personality' by indulging his prejudices. That doesn't really make him a music critic (unless one has a very low bar). He played into the British prejudices rather massively, and had a big impact on the appreciation of Brahms and a couple other German style composers in the English speaking world. This notion that Brahms is just mathematically sorting out themes or motivs
  10. obviously the solution is putting an obscure piece you happen to like on youtube (preferably prefaced by making some "hilarious" faces like the twopiece guys). In concert hall performance the repertoire has been shrinking for, like, two generations now, down to four violin concertos, six piano concertos and of course the Alla Turca encore. Can't leave without playing that one. People won't even listen before this.
  11. and it's not like this is the last and only 1850 - 1900 German fiddle one can get hold of...
  12. `Needless to say, the way a violin sounds (and this is a recording!) is also determinded by who's playing it and by the nature and quality of the bow. So those are a lot of variables. The way you can control those variables is to go down to a violin shop and try a bunch of fiddles and focus on the ones you like.
  13. if you stare at it all day it does drive you crazy, so the complainant has a point.
  14. in that case the violin would need to be lost or stolen in time before the phone's battery runs out, and one of the main reasons why people buy a new phone is the previous one had gotten a short battery life...