Lupu's non-stop recital

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Lupu's non-stop recital

Post by herman » Mon May 09, 2005 3:01 am

I suppose if they do it in Amsterdam, they're doing it in London and New York too: the non-stop, keep-your-hands-to-yourself recital.

Some time ago Mikhail Pletnev performed two Beethoven sonatas before the intermission, the Pathetique and the next one from op. 14, and he played them as one piece. The break between the two sonatas was even shorter than the breaks between the various movements, so as to prevent any outbreak of applause.

Last night Radu Lupu performed, before the intermission, Beethoven's c minor Variations WoO 80 and the Alban Berg Sonata without the slightest breather. An announcer on the PA had told the audience so in advance that "Mr Lupu, for artistic reasons will etc…"

Artistic reasons? Go tell that to Berg and Beethoven! It was most distracting. It took a whole page of the Berg to readjust, and that page can be wonderful (and admittedly the Berg was the best piece in the entire recital which also featured the Beethoven Op 101 and Debussy's Preludes Book 1).

The only reason I can think why performers indulge in this kind of bull crap is they spend so much time playing all by themselves that they want to hold on the illusion that they're performing for no one out there in the concert hall. We're just paying for the seats.

Obviously there is an "artistic reason" for pause between two works, so as to separate different musical worlds, and the audience needs the applause not just to show admiration but also to recollect and recompose what they have just heard. If you don't get the chance to do so, the music just turns into fast food. It's the silence that lets the music breathe. I did not enjoy the recital half as much as I could have had there been more breaks, also between the Debussy pieces.

I'm going to look for a spot in a newspaper to vent this - for artistic reasons, of course.

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Post by Ralph » Tue May 10, 2005 4:12 am

Why does the word "gimmick" leap up in my mind?

"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

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