Does this guy matter. Albert Einstein thinking science stuff I don’t really understand
Have you ever wondered whether scientific scientists actually influence their science experiments?
They seem important. After all, they’re standing in the middle of the lab wearing white coats and goggles, doing stuff, giving instructions, waving their hands and pressing buttons. But the science machines are all connected to computers that are telling them what to do. If you took the scientist away, could the laboratory do science on its own?
Apparently, this guy did matter when he was still alive according to previous studies
Following on the heels of a recent scientific study of conductors’ influence on the orchestras they conduct, a team of scientists at Moronton University led by Dr Osmosis Los Alamos has conducted a similar survey, studying the impact being a scientist has on doing science.
“Having conclusively proved that being a trained, experienced and competent conductor makes you better at conducting, we wanted to do the necessary, ground-breaking, grant-funding-attracting research to needed to scientifically assess whether basic competence matters in other fields of endeavour, and we decided to start with the field we know best.”
Researchers set up two identical sciencing labs to run an experiment to measure the specrtra produced by super-heated ionic gas clouds using a device called a microwave spectrometer. Each lab was fitted with numerous motion sensors, remote cameras and lab computer activity was tracked remotely.
When the scientists started the experiment, researchers watched to see which team got the best results, who used their time the most effectively, which team caused serious accidents, explosions or fires and which team needed the most or least hospitalization. Researchers also tracked which lab produced the most graduate research assistant fatalities and which computers were used primarily for analysing incoming experimental data, and which were used primarily to access pornography. Using mathematical techniques originally designed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Percy Granger, Los Alamos and his colleagues analysed whether the actions and expertise of the scientists were linked to the effectiveness of the experiments.
The researchers hypothesized that if the actions of the scientists could predict the effectiveness of the experiment, then the scientist was clearly running the lab. But if the scientists’ actions could not predict the progress of the machines, then the experiment was running itself.
(The research study is part of a larger project where Los Alamos is trying to figure out if human activities share something in common with knowing what you are doing. Future studies will focus on how being able to snow peer-review committees under mountains of bullshit and a very effective PR outreach can lead to increased grant funding of pointless research projects)
But the study found more: The researchers had two scientists give the same lecture on advanced quantum mechanics. One was a veteran university professor who possessed an ironclad understanding of the material. The other was an idiot.
“What we found is the more the influence of the science professor to the science students, the more education — educationally effective the lecture was overall,” Los Alamos said.
Science experts who listened to the lecture of the students under the control of the two speakers found the version produced by the person who actually knew anything about quantum mechanics to be educationally superior. Remember, these experts didn’t know which version was being led by the veteran science professor, and which by the idiot. All they heard was the lecture.
Next up will be a study about whether journalists with a technical background in the field they are writing about produce more informed articles about the subject they are covering than those whose expertise lies elsewhere.
We’re only days away from next week’s Orchestra of the Swan concert and recording sessions, and everyone involved is getting excited about meeting up again with our old friends, Bobby and Hans. Our previous encounters have been most memorable. This time out, we’re playing Hans’s Second Symphony, a searingly personal work written in the darkest hours of WW II that ultimately seeks a tone of peace and consolation. This amazing work has, amazingly, not been performed in concert in 61 years. What insanity. Bobby is represented by his second symphony, the one in D minor which we call his Fourth Symphony, the third or fourth and last of his six symphonies, which are numbered 1-4. No wonder the poor guy ended up in an asylum once the publishers got their hands on his music. It’s amazing, and hugely influential. What follows is the welcome blurb from next week’s printed programme, which gives a little sense of the thinking behind the concert:
The relationship between a composer’s personal circumstances and their creative work is often a complicated one. Schumann’s Fourth Symphony is the most dramatic and stormy of his four works in the genre, and yet it was written in what was one of the happiest and most productive years of his life, just after the triumphant premiere of his Spring Symphony in 1841. Even in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime combination of professional success and personal happiness, did Schumann sense the dark clouds of his own tragic destiny on the horizon? Did the struggle against darkness it expresses so powerfully take on new meaning to Schumann when he returned to revise the work ten years later, at a time when his own circumstances were becoming far more difficult, and his future health was becoming a matter of existential concern?
On the other hand, Gál’s Second Symphony is a deeply lyrical, tender, wise and gentle work conceived and completed in an era of mass violence, war, genocide and personal tragedy. At the moment in Gá’s life when he had lost the most, did he choose to assert his will to survive not through Beethovenian defiance or Mahlerian anguish but through music that seeks consolation and comfort, or was he simply writing what he felt he had to?
In both cases, these are symphonies that respond to universal tragedy with an insistent will to live and to seek joy- statements of hope and optimism all the more moving because they were created by artists who had endured incredible darkness and tragedy themselves, and were able to turn from that darkness to something ultimately life-affirming through their music.
Last spring, I was commissioned to write an essay on the work of Eugen Jochum for EMI’s new 20 CD box set of his late recordings in the Icon series. The disc is now out, and I thought Vftp readers might find the essay of interest. I’m confident that anyone who wants to hear core repertoire played with un-surpassable insight and understanding will want to check out the set. Available here
Eugen Jochum was born to a Roman Catholic family in Babenhausen. As he recounted to Alan Blyth in a 1972 Gramophone interview, ‘My father had a little choir school so that he could train his children for the church… I usually played the organ when my father was conducting and if he went on holiday, I would take over the conducting too – although I was only nine… And I had to accompany, and transpose, all of which was excellent training’.
He completed his formal studies in nearbyAugsburgandMunich, then held early posts inMonchengladbach,Kieland then went to Manheim, where he attracted the favourable attention of Wilhelm Furtwängler, who would be both a champion of and inspiration to the younger conductor. The 1930s were to be hugely productive for Jochum, during which he served as director of both the Hamburg Opera and Philharmonic, eventually developing a repertoire of over 60 operas. Jochum, to his credit, managed to avoid getting entangled with the Nazis.
The most important appointment of his career came in 1949, when he was made the founding music director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony inMunich, an ensemble he built into one of the most admired orchestras inEurope. He also had long partnerships with the Berliner Philharmoniker, and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra,Amsterdam, where he served as Co-Principal Conductor alongside the young Bernard Haitink in the early 1960s.
Furtwängler remains the conductor to whom Jochum is most frequently compared. Both men were most at home among the monuments of the Austro-German repertoire, both were known for flexibility of tempo, but for both men, their seemingly spontaneous approach to tempo was grounded in a highly rigorous and analytical approach to score study, and both were keenly concerned with revealing the structure of the music they conducted. However, Jochum was very much his own man. Where Furtwängler was surrounded by something like the cult of a shaman, and could conduct with a beat that was sometimes as mysterious as it could also be illuminating, Jochum was a famously direct and genial man, and his conducting technique was one of pinpoint precision, honed to perfection during his early years in the opera house. Jochum also preferred a leaner, more delineated sound and more precise ensemble than the glorious growl Furtwängler drew from his Berlin Philharmonic.
The Bruckner Specialist
Jochum’s name and career were tied to the music of Anton Bruckner from the moment of his first significant professional success, when he conducted a triumphant performance of Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony with the Munich Philharmonic in 1926. Jochum himself said of the piece ‘this symphony made my whole career.’ From the beginning, Jochum found himself to be completely comfortable with Bruckner’s distinctive sound world: ‘Every young conductor has his problems with Mozart and Beethoven. I never found I had these problems with Bruckner; he seemed to come to me naturally.’ Jochum himself believed his affinity for Bruckner grew from his own training as an organist: ‘I began playing the organ when I was six years old… so his style was never difficult for me.’
From his debut inMunichto his final, triumphant Bruckner performances in the 1980s, many critics and musicians considered him the leading Brucknerian of his era. Off the podium, his commitment to Bruckner’s music included a long tenure as President of the West German Bruckner Society and several essays on Bruckner interpretation. However, Jochum always viewed his interpretations of Bruckner’s music as a work in progress, and he was passionately interested in absorbing the latest research. He was one of the first major Brucknerians to set aside Robert Haas’s original Critical Edition of the symphonies in favour of the new postwar edition made by Leopold Nowak. ‘Haas was, how shall I say, a very gifted man,’ he said, ‘but… I don’t think that kind of editing will do.’ In return, Nowak was unpolitic in his assessment of Jochum’s commitment to understanding Bruckner’s music, ‘The only conductor who ever came to the library, or wrote to ask questions about the sources in all my years editing Bruckner,’ he said, ‘was Eugen Jochum.’
Jochum’s recorded performances of the Bruckner symphonies span almost his entire 60-year career, and his evolution as an interpreter is both clearly apparent but also notably incremental, the core of his artistic persona being present from early on. Critic Herbert Glass described him as someone constantly challenging his own ideas about music: ‘The Fifth Symphony drove him to distraction and he would regard his every performance of it as an interpretation in progress. In rehearsal, such doubts could sorely test an orchestra’s patience, this despite his courtly, respectful treatment of his players.’ Central to Jochum’s approach to all music of the Romantic era, and to Bruckner’s in particular, is the integration of a deeply ingrained structural understanding of the music’s large-scale organization with a finely honed approach to tempo flexibility.
Jochum’s approach to tempo in Bruckner remains controversial among some critics and conductors, but it is also often misunderstood. Where an interpreter like Bernstein, Stokowski or even Karajan might tend to broaden an established tempo to savor a detail or emphasize a cadence, Jochum more often used changes of tempo to underline large-scale musical structure, at his best achieving a rare balance of subtlety and audacity. Where many musicians think first of ‘taking time’ when they think of rubato, Jochum was an expert at moving the music forward, a skill that has nearly vanished from the podium in more recent generations. Over the course of his career, one can hear his control of tempo becoming ever more refined. By the time he recorded this, his final complete cycle, with the Dresden Staatskapelle in the 1970s, his ability to pace a large-scale accelerando is so secure that one often only senses at the arrival of a long buildup that something has been going on at all. Jochum’s Bruckner interpretations ought to be required listening for those who find Bruckner’s music to grandiose, monolithic and static. Jochum’s Bruckner is always going somewhere, full of rhythmic energy and forward motion. His approach to sound is notably less massive and organ-like than that of his contemporary and sometime rival, Herbert von Karajan. Especially inDresden, Jochum elicited brighter and more intense brass playing than many of his peers, creating a sound with more edge if possibly less stentorian power. The Dresden brass were probably still using smaller-bore brass instruments than their American and West German contemporaries, so the orchestral sound is likely closer in many ways to one Bruckner himself would have recognized.
‘He should be de-Bruckner-ized’
Veronica Jochum, pianist and daughter of Eugen Jochum
‘Today, everyone thinks of me as a specialist in Bruckner’s symphonies,’ Jochum said in a 1983 interview. ‘But I began with the music of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. And it is to their music that I still feel closest.’
Jochum belonged to a generation of mainstream conductors who refused to relinquish Bach to historical specialists. He himself was deeply interested in the questions of source-criticism, historical instruments and style which have proved so influential in the last thirty years, and he wrote an extensive essay on the interpretation of Bach’s St Matthew Passion in the 1960s. ‘Even nearer to my heart,’ he remarked toBlyth, ‘is the B minor Mass, the most spiritual work in the repertory.’ In the busy autumn of his career in the 1970’s, he still harboured one great ambition: ‘My greatest wish is to do the B minor Mass again.’
Jochum wore his scholarship lightly, and his underlying approach to early music was highly pragmatic: ‘I realise that there are many specialists in this field, and they know how everything should go from a stylistic point of view but some of them do not succeed in bringing the music to life; their approach is too academic. I don’t think it matters too much if you use a large or a small choir, old or new instruments; what they must be is lively and dramatic. Expression is the heart of the matter.’
Jochum’s ‘greatest wish’ was fulfilled when he recorded the B Minor Mass for EMI in 1983. Jochum’s Bach has in many ways held up better than that of many of his near-contemporaries, such as Klemperer, whose Bach can sound painfully leaden to some modern ears. Jochum’s understanding of dance rhythm, his sense of forward motion so apparent in his Bruckner performances, and his ability to get singers to engage with the meaning of the text, all make for gripping listening in Jochum’s Bach.
The Beethoven symphonies were central to Jochum’s repertoire, and he recorded the cycle three times: first for DG in the 1950s with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Bavarian Radio Symphony, then with the Concertgebouw for Philips in the 1960’s, and finally, this set for EMI with LSO in the 1970s.
Balance seems to have been a key issue in Jochum’s Beethoven, especially as heard in his final cycle. The quirky woodwind chords which open the First Symphony are meticulously balanced, so as to make the most of the unstable harmonies and their resolutions, and as a result, what often sounds like a series of standalone events becomes a phrase. Beethoven himself seemed to welcome and perhaps even prefer larger orchestras, according to the historian Clive Brown, and Jochum’s full LSO string section would have been similar in size to the large orchestras used in the Viennese premieres of Beethoven’s Third, Fourth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth symphonies. Jochum’s achievement is to elicit incredible clarity of texture and unanimity of rhythm from such a large ensemble. Jochum’s Beethoven sometimes lacks the same sense of propulsion and forward motion that critics often favorably commented on in his interpretations of Mozart and Haydn, but even if he doesn’t seem particularly concerned with Beethoven’s metronome markings, he is clearly aware of harmonic rhythm and phrase structure of every page, and by and large, his performances achieve a sense of momentum which belie their occasionally leisurely tempi. As in his Bruckner, Jochum is particularly adept in making independent lines and cross rhythms come to life. Sample, for instance, the beginning of the development of the Eighth Symphony and note the way in which the arpeggios, moving in contrary motion between high and low strings, are so compellingly shaped and totally clear. Likewise, it is hard to imagine any conductor has ever captured the rhythmic and contrapuntal complexities of the finale of the ‘Eroica’ more incisively than Jochum with the LSO.
The Great Brahmsian
Jochum recorded the Brahms symphonies twice, first in mono for DG in the 1950s, and then with the London Philharmonic in the 1970s. He himself considered the 1964 sessions of Brahms’s piano concertos with Emil Gilels to be his finest recordings. Perhaps it is in Brahms that his artistic maturation is seen to greatest effect. His use of structurally underpinned tempo modification is absolutely central to his approach to this composer, and it is with Brahms that his greatly increased subtlety and mastery of tempo pays the biggest dividends. While the earlier set, for all its beauties, is occasionally let down by the odd awkward transition, ragged ensemble or in-organic accelerando, in this cycle, building on the intervening 20 years of experience and the matchless attentiveness and cohesion of London orchestral musicians at his disposal, Jochum recorded a truly great cycle of Brahms performances. From a conductor’s perspective, it is hard to think of a more technically or musically impressive performance than that of the first movement of the Fourth, in which Jochum is able to achieve complete and effortless-sounding flexibility of tempo, while making sure that all of Brahms’ intricate polyrhythms are articulated with absolute security and clarity.
Another hallmark of Jochum’s approach to Brahms is his ability to sublimate his own personality, where required, to engage with the full range of character across the individual works. The atmosphere of brooding high-tragedy Jochum elicits in the Fourth, with its huge surges and ebbs of tempo, is certainly the work of the same conductor as the similarly intense, even terrifying, performance of Bruckner’s Ninth, but miles away from the warm, unfussy and conspicuously brisk performance of Brahms’ Second, in which the long first movement unfolds with such ease and clarity of purpose.
Jochum was an artist with a huge musical personality, but what continues to impress across his vast discography is his ability to know when and how to apply the components of that personality to the repertoire at hand. This master of rubato could stick with a lively and steady tempo to great effect in Beethoven, Bach and even Brahms, and this master of forward motion also knew when to stop and let the music breathe. A man noted by all for his warmth and good humour, he could unleash the demons in the late Bruckner symphonies with an existential ferocity like few before or since. Surely, this is one of the marks of a conducting Icon?
c Kenneth Woods, 2012
From the December, 2012 Issue of Gramophone Magazine
“Ensemble Epomeo provide ravishing accounts of both Gal works, fully in sympathy with the idiom… A splendid disc I cannot get enough of.”
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A new review from MusicWeb International for Spring Sounds, Spring Seas. Read the whole thing here. A short sample follows. An earlier, five-star version of this same review appears at Art Music Reviews.
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Composer James Nyoraku Schlefer is founder of the not-for-profit Kyo-Shin-An Arts, an organization “dedicated to the appreciation and integration of Japanese musical instruments in Western classical music.” Kyo-Shin-An commissioned Daron Hagen’s Koto Concerto, his first venture into the exotica of non-Western instruments. Schlefer, on the other hand, has a close and longstanding relationship with Japanese culture – ‘Nyoraku’ (“like the essence of music”) is a name acquired through intensive training and study in traditional music. This CD offers an accessible introduction to the timbral and expressive capabilities of the traditional shakuhachi and the 20-string koto, as interpreted by contemporary, but decidedly audience-friendly, American composers also employing normal occidental forces.
Schlefer’s three-movement Shakuhachi Concerto is subtly scored for strings, harp and percussion, with a ‘semi-solo’ role played by the shakuhachi, an end-blown flute frequently heard in film music wishing to evoke Japan, China or Far Eastern religions. Schlefer is an accredited shakuhachi ‘Grand Master’, and the Concerto consequently has little time for pseudo-ethnic flutterings. Instead, this attractive, highly approachable work – mainly contemplative, sometimes almost static but with bursts of strong rhythmic energy – exhibits considerable craftsmanship and no little artistry.
As a performer, Schlefer’s mastery of what is a very difficult instrument to play well is awe-inspiring, as a superb high-definition YouTube video of this very recording on hiswebsitedemonstrates.
The subtitle of Daron Hagen’s Koto Concerto is a reference to the 11th-century ‘Tale of Genji’, a longwinded romance involving a royal son made commoner through political shenanigans who falls in love with a girl about whom he knows only that she plays the koto divinely! With Hagen eschewing direct extra-musical narrative, the Concerto’s five sections capture various psychological states from the story, although the overall feel is a generally cheery one, ending in consummation – or, as the story discreetly puts it, ‘Vanished into the Clouds’. For anyone interested in hearing the zither-like koto played both virtuosically and expressively, this is a work to experience. Hagen’s colourful, lively writing for orchestra pushes things along, skilfully and tunefully blending Japanese and American styles. Yumi Kurosawa, young but immensely experienced, is a koto player par excellence. In 2009 she debuted with a solo disc of her own pieces for the 21-string koto, a so-called ‘world fusion’ collection aptly entitled ‘Beginning of a Journey’ and available through her website. Her performance here can also be viewed, in another splendid high-definition YouTube video this time on Hagen’s website…
Both shakuhachi and koto appear together in the CD opener, Schlefer’s very recent Haru No Umi Redux. The ‘redux’ is an indication of the fact that Schlefer has reworked the quasi-traditional Japanese New Year’s tune, Haru No Umi – actually composed by Michiyo Miyagi in 1929 – adding some of his own material with a light string orchestra backing. Redux is a lovely, thoughtful piece made up of several equally atmospheric solo, duo and tutti sections.
The still-underrated Orchestra of the Swan are having a busy time of things at the moment – this is already their third release of 2012, following two Avie CDs pairing symphonies by Schumann and Hans Gál (review,review). They were led in those recordings by the even more prolific Kenneth Woods, who, as part of his ongoing advocacy of Gál and wearing his cellist hat in the Ensemble Epomeo, has just had another Avie disc released, featuring both the composer’s String Trios and a couple of shorter works by Hans Krása (AV 2259). For Woods and the Swans the present disc will surely add to their growing reputation for measured, quality interpretations, as well as a laudable, healthy interest in music that without their intervention would probably languish unjustifiably in dusty library basements. Whilst Woods is Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestra, David Curtis, who steps in for Hagen’s Genji, is actual Artistic Director and has established the ensemble as a champion for living composers, many of whom they have commissioned. In many ways he cuts a similar figure to Woods – confident, relaxed and thankfully lacking any taste for melodrama. All of that comes across in these recordings, which are as arresting and entertaining as either composer could wish for.
Sound quality throughout the CD is very good indeed, warm and well balanced
Re-blogged from Broken Thirds, the Epomeo Blog
A new review from critic and musicologist Calum MacDonald in the November 2012 issue of International Record Review for Ensemble Epomeo’s recording of the complete trios of Hans Gal and Hans Krasa. On newsstands now, but better yet, subscribe to the magazine
The complete review follows below, but shouldn’t you go ahead and order the CD first?
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Kenneth Woods has already made his mark, conducting the Orchestra of the Swan, in a notable series of Avie recordings of Hans Gál’s orchestral works. Here he dons another hat, as cellist of the trio Ensemble Epomeo, and carries the good fight into the realms of Gál’s chamber music, for the principal pieces on this disc are that composer’s two works for violin, viola and cello, and very rewarding they are.
The Serenade in D, Op. 41, composed in 1932, when Gál was at the height of his powers strikes me as a real discovery. In his booklet notes Woods notes the obvious debts to Haydn and Mozart and to the serenade genre as a whole, yet it strikes me very much as a work of its time. The big opening movement, Capriccioso, Allegro assai, is harmonically complex and imaginative, reminding us that this is the work of a contemporary of Hindemith and Zemlinsky. If the other movements—a beautiful Cantabile, a Menuetto and a concluding Alla Marcia—refer more clearly to classical models, they do so with wit, resource and a decidedly “contemporary” spin; and there is enough going beneath the surface in terms of harmonic ambiguity to justify interpreting the work in the light of the anxious political times in which is was written. This Serenade deserves to be set beside Gál’s four string quartets, recorded some years ago by the Edinburgh Quartet on Meridian, as one of his most important chamber scores.
Nearly 40 years separate the Serenade from Gál’s late Trio in F-sharp minor, Op. 104, which was written in 1971 on a commission from the London Viola d’Amore Society and was originally for the line-up of violin, viola d’amore and cello (Gál made the version we hear on this disc, for standard string trio, simultaneously with the viola d’amore version, which would interesting to hear also). This too is a substantial work, in what seems much more a “late,” essentialized style—yet one which also looks back to the great nineteenth-century Viennese traditions of which Gál felt himself to be heir—not with much nostalgia but with decorum and respect. The extended set of Theme and Variations which serves as finale, especially, reminds me- though there is no exact equivalence in expression- of the similarly summing-up quality of the variation-finale of Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet. This is a cherishable utterance of wisdom and experience.
While Gál, despite losing most of his family during the Second World War, survived in Scottish exile to a distinguished old age, his younger Czech contemporary Hans Krása instead had a brief sojourn as one of the most gifted of the composers crammed into the Terezin concentration camp, before being gassed at Auschwitz in October 1944. His two works for string trio date from that same year, and by now they have rightly been recorded several times—most notably up to now on a splendid Nimbus disc from Daniel Hope, Philip Dukes and Paul Watkins coupled with music of two other brilliant unfortunates, Erwin Schulhoff and Gideon Klein. In his openness both to the conflicting influences of Janácek (in the pawky Tanec) and Schönberg, Krása produced a music of vital symbiosis, albeit on a small scale in these two works.
The Passacaglia and Fugue was in fact the last music he completed, and if I think I place this new recording slightly above the Nimbus rival it must be for the treatment of the Passacaglia, much more the substantial of the two movements, where Woods and his colleagues, adopting a very broad tempo, discover even deeper refinements of instrumental tone and character in differentiating the individual variations. Indeed, all the performances radiate sympathy for the music and a focused intensity that bespeaks both familiarity with this out-of-the-way repertoire and considerable musicianship; these are not easy works to bring out in such vital and well-characterized interpretations. Avie’s recording, too, is splendidly resonant and warm. A very recommendable disc for anyone interested in either composer.
Today (October 30th), Performance Today, produced by American Public Media, broadcast two recent live performances from the Orchestra of the Swan and yours truly.
The first hour of the program opened with a movement from our live recording of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. Tenorsaurous rex Brennen Guillory sings “Der Trunkene im Frühling.” You can learn more about the recording here.
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The main work in the first half is Schumann’s Second Symphony, recorded live in Stratford on December 6th, 2012 as part of our Bobby and Hans project. You can read my interactive notes on the symphony while you listen here. As most Vftp readers know, our CD of this piece is available from Avie Records.
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The program is available online via the Performance Today website for one week.
Last week’s episode of critic, author and journalist Andrew Patner’s show “Critical Thinking” on WFMT-Chicago features discussion of and selections from our new recording of the trios of Hans Gal and Hans Krasa.
You can listen to the episode on the WFMT website here, or download the podcast here:
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Our segment begins at 35:55. Other artists include Eighth Blackbird and Nicholas Phan
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Recordings editor Phil Sommerich interviews the members of Ensemble Epomeo on their new recording of the trios of Hans Gal and Hans Krasa in the current issue of Classical Music Magazine (October 20, 2012). On sale now! Buy a copy while you can, or better yet, subscribe.
I was trying to explain the international rules of concert duration succinctly today. Here’s what I came up with.
1- American audiences generally come to concerts for the social occasion, and often dread the music that comes with it, so they prefer we keep the musical portion of concerts short. Rule of thumb for the performer: No matter how beautifully you play, you mustn’t play to long or the audience will not have time for a good gossip at the reception.
2- British audiences generally come to the concerts for the music and often dread the socializing that comes with it, so they prefer we keep the musical portion of concerts as long as possible, regardless of whether everything is adequately rehearsed. Rule of thumb for the performer: Keep going until everyone has a good reason to skip the reception, no matter how badly you play.
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