Apollo or Dionysus?

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Apollo or Dionysus?

Post by SamLowry » Tue May 09, 2006 10:20 am

Last night I watched on PBS, part of "Music From The Inside Out" about the Philadelphia Orchestra, which I enjoyed. Following that was part 1 of 6 of "Apollo or Dionysus?" which was 30 minutes long, but I turned it off maybe halfway through.

Did anybody else watch this? I think it's a new production but I'm not sure. Two or three people were talking about the idea of Apollo vs. Dionysus, one of them said that the concertgoer's experience was seeing and listening. My first thought was how in concert halls I sometimes close my eyes to avoid being distracted by the performers or people around me.

A pianist, who I've figured out must be Davide Cabassi, was shown playing the Appassionata in concert, and rehearsing the Brahms 1st concerto.

What I found just intolerable was how the camera focused on the pianist's face during the concert. Some people would think by looking at his face you could "see the music" portrayed. Everything from Agony to Ecstasy, perhaps. I found it repellent!

I waited a few minutes to see if this was going to continue, then I shut off the TV. I was reminded of the article "does music make you smarter" http://classicalmusicguide.com/phpBB2/v ... hp?t=11269, regarding what it said about performers.

I suppose performers are going to do what they want to do while playing, but I was annoyed that this program chose this fellow as an example, along with the way they filmed him. I instead think "it's about the music."

I now found this link

The episode description mentions "heart on the sleeve" and "histrionics" but I got no hint last night that what I saw was anything but typical of classical performers. After finding this page I probably will tune in to see a following installment.


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