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Time to rethink concert traveling?


Rue
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Bill's Concert Poll  

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  1. 1. Bill's Concert Frequency Poll

    • I want more concerts!
      4
    • I want fewer concerts!
      1


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4 hours ago, Rue said:

Yes!

Same goes for other unnecessary travel.

My husband travels too much. Since March, no one in his company has been traveling. Guess what? 

They're getting along quite well. (Although now I'd argue they've slipped into having too many unnecessary Zoom meetings :rolleyes:. There seems to be some inherent human tendency towards excess).

Fewer, more important, in-person meetings would be much more meaningful. 

I can't put a figure on the money saved, the pollution reduced and the availability of more quality time spent at home with family, etc. 

I think this is a great time to reevaluate why we do what we do, and how we do it.

Start a poll!

Agreed. In the BC (before COVID) world the only justification that you needed for doing something, whether it was travel or whatever, was if you could afford it. If you could afford it you could do it regardless of the impact environmentally or in any other way. We're having to re-evaluate that as a society and I think that's a good thing.

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10 hours ago, gowan said:

But it's not everywhere at a high standard.   I listen to a lot of music on YouTube or streaming and, really, there is no comparison with what I hear live in a good hall.  There are not many orchestra halls in the world that can compare with Boston's Symphony Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, or the Vienna Musikverein.  Then, too, the quality of the performance, i.e. instruments, skill of the players, and the interpretation are important.  There is a place for classical music performances not at the highest levels.  I play in a community orchestra and many people, who have never been to a classical music performance, come to our concerts because a neighbor or friend is playing.  That way people unfamiliar with classical music can get a sample of it and may develop an interest in it that way.  There is a third class professional orchestra with a performance venue 45 minutes away from us but beginners don't want to drive that far and don't want to pay the ticket prices, let alone the ticket price for the Boston Symphony.  So our community orchestra with mostly amateur players in a high school auditorium does offer something that the Boston Symphony can't.  It could happen in the future that climate change and air pollution might make it undesirable to travel to distant concerts.  Then we will have to enjoy what we can get.  For me, playing music is better than just listening, and I can play without any serious travel.  Even listening to CD's on high quality electronics is not a substitute for live concerts, but they offer a variety of music that would not be available in live concerts.

I agree with you but you’re missing my point. I am an imperfect player. Any piece I might care to learn is already represented by literally countless thousands of better performances by younger players.

So there’s no incentive for people to drive to hear me play, say, Bach 5. Why bother?

Quite by accident,  my two YouTube videos are of complete obscurities, and when conditions allow, my next several will also be valid but unknown obscurities by Chapuis, De Fesch, Godard and Ginastera. 

It was said of Gerald Finzi that he wouldn’t go to hear a famous player, but he would go to an unknown piece.

The problem is that managers don’t schedule unfamiliar pieces, because the audience doesn’t want to hear them. Bernard Shaw- quite rare for him-praised Hermann Götz to the Heavens, both as an opera composer and symphonist, but no one is interested in programming his music, nor the symphonies of Kalinnikov, nor even the less well-known symphonies of a titan like Dvorak. I’ve only played his 5th symphony once, yet it is a complete masterpiece, as is Tchaikovsky’s third. Again, only once.

So we only get safe warhorses, because that sells(even though it really doesn’t.) And when we DO get something unusual, it is something composed yesterday that sounds like cats being strangled, a token nod to modern music( it would not surprise me, BTW, to learn that none of the  typical orchestra managers have ever heard of the composers I first mentioned.) The new piece is heard, politely applauded, loathed by players and concertgoers alike, and then tossed into a dark corner, never to be heard again.

I love live music, and its superiority to recorded music is beyond question, but for the masses, there’s little incentive to engage in the effort of attendance, when everything is available for free online. That wretched abundance cheapens the live experience. Yes, you miss all the virtues of Live, but too few people are aware of how meaningful those virtues are.
 

Edited by PhilipKT
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1 hour ago, Rue said:

It's times like this I wish I had a sociology/psychology background. My ability to properly express what I'm thinking is lacking.

I'll offer up: Restraint for the greater good?

I took your point to mean that travel for the purpose of attending a concert, for travel for the purpose of giving a concert, is obsolete, and I do not disagree.

The point I tried to make is that because we have infinite renditions of whatever music we care to hear, Going to any concert at all is becoming obsolete. Going to ANYTHING is obsolete. Major-league baseball just played an entire 60 game season with no fans in the stands until the World Series.

The question is whether we will return to in person anything when this is over. Why go to the office when you can work at home? Why shop at J Crew when there’s JCrew.com? Why go to the restaurant when there’s Uber Eats?

When my wife and I first visited New York, of course we had to see a show and we had to see the New York Philharmonic, but I wanted to see the orchestra. I was less concerned about what they were playing, although they played Dvorak eight which is a favorite of mine. But I would never dream of making a special trip to New York just to see the Philharmonic(although I might go to the Met to see a revival of a great obscure opera like Les Huguenots, or Robert de Diable.)

But leaving the house is going to be less necessary for the white collar upper middle class, And now we have seen the folly of rush-hour traffic, I think society is going to see a significant shift away from it.

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If you enjoy literature, here is a prescient "short" (but rather long) science fiction story by E. M. Forster from 1909 about a world technological shift away from travel and direct experience and to self-isolation and virtual experience. I recommend it to all (along with Elizabeth Bishop's great poem, "Questions of Travel"). 

The Machine Stops

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8 minutes ago, crazy jane said:

If you enjoy literature, here is a prescient "short" (but rather long) science fiction story by E. M. Forster from 1909 about a world technological shift away from travel and direct experience and to self-isolation and virtual experience. I recommend it to all (along with Elizabeth Bishop's great poem, "Questions of Travel"). 

The Machine Stops

I love Forster and don’t know this. I will look it up.

Isaac Asimov deals with this concept in “the naked sun,” the second book of his “robot” series, in which humans never see each other at all. Instead, they “view” each other as holograms. The idea of physical connection is anathema to them. 
I think of that often, as well as a short story he wrote on a whim called,”the fun they had” about future school children wishing they could go to a real school with real people as teachers.

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The poem is beautiful.

i am reminded of Buononcini talking about Mozart to Salieri, who had asked about Mozart’s improvisations:

”no sooner had he offered one wonderful idea than he started on another, before we have time to enjoy the first, so many that we wish he were not so prodigious with them.”

Her imagery is the same. Wonderful poem and poet. Thank you for sharing!

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53 minutes ago, crazy jane said:

If you enjoy literature, here is a prescient "short" (but rather long) science fiction story by E. M. Forster from 1909 about a world technological shift away from travel and direct experience and to self-isolation and virtual experience. I recommend it to all (along with Elizabeth Bishop's great poem, "Questions of Travel"). 

The Machine Stops

Everybody needs to read that one.  :)

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2 hours ago, crazy jane said:

If you enjoy literature, here is a prescient "short" (but rather long) science fiction story by E. M. Forster from 1909 about a world technological shift away from travel and direct experience and to self-isolation and virtual experience. I recommend it to all (along with Elizabeth Bishop's great poem, "Questions of Travel"). 

The Machine Stops

That’s an astonishing story for the first decade of last century. It brings to mind a different treatment of the same concept, a creepy short story called “with folded hands”

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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 topics in upper middle class conversation) is going to be phased out, too.

Needless to say, air travel is one the main things that's causing global warming, so it would be a win-win thing, but something's telling me people will choose lose-lose. 'Let other people curtail their travel, we just need to do this now because of YOLO and FOMO.'

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12 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

It was said of Gerald Finzi that he wouldn’t go to hear a famous player, but he would go to an unknown piece.

I have a bundle of string quartets by John Lodge Ellerton that came from Finzi's library. I was trying to mount a revival but finally had to accept he was a terrible composer.

13 minutes ago, Herman West said:

I believe is is about international travel. The other day, watching one of those superb Wigmore Hall livestreams I noticed people 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.

This will mean bragging about one's travels (one of the main topics in upper middle class conversation) is going to be phased out, too.

Needless to say, air travel is one the main things that's causing global warming, so it would be a win win thing, but something's telling me people will choose lose lose.

Yup, they're wonderful and there' a huge archive too

Yup

Yup

Yup

Yup

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14 hours ago, gowan said:

  There are not many orchestra halls in the world that can compare with Boston's Symphony Hall, Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, or the Vienna Musikverein.  

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.

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9 hours ago, Herman West said:

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 topics in upper middle class conversation) is going to be phased out, too.

Needless to say, air travel is one the main things that's causing global warming, so it would be a win-win thing, but something's telling me people will choose lose-lose. 'Let other people curtail their travel, we just need to do this now because of YOLO and FOMO.'

I often think I value and enjoy things more if they are not easily obtained. It seems as if today many people want and expect once in a lifetime experiences nearly every week. I know we are not all fit and young and can't be expected to follow suit but I can't help thinking how Bach must have really enjoyed the music after walking 280 miles to hear Buxtehude?

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