This will forever be a topic in the classical music world. Similar to “the death of classical music” I suppose. They just won’t go away.

Last night the audience applauded between every movement of the Ravel. I have a strong suspicion the audience was new to a symphony concert. In some ways this is a bit odd, since it was the celebration of San Jose State University’s 150th year, and you’d think those coming to something like that would be … well … educated about things like movements of a work. But maybe not. Having grown up in the genre, I’m probably just silly about what I think other people know. But I wasn’t bothered by the applause, really. I did think they could have been a bit quiet after the slow movement, but oh well.

I was reading about an Oregon Symphony concert, though, where only a few concert goers started to applaud before it was really time at the end of Tchaikovsky’s 6th. That work is a toughie for some people. Ending slowly and quietly makes some people uncomfortable, I think. After all, don’t symphonies end fast and loud so an audience can rise to its feet immediately? (At San Jose Symphony (RIP) concerts I could guarantee an audience would give us a standing O as long as we ended loud and fast, whether or not it was a good performance. Sometimes I really did want to yell, “SIT DOWN! That was awful and we don’t deserve this!”) But of course an audience doesn’t want to be told they just paid good money for a bad concert. So I’d just smile and stand when told to stand and there you go.)

Anyway … ramble ramble … I read this and more (just click on the link for the whole thing):

But all in all I do not want to take command of the crowd in terms of telling them when it is appropriate to applaud. They do very well. Remember the silence after the Adams Transmigration? I also remember the great silence after Holst’ Planets… What I’m trying to say is the following. Silence after a piece of music is something magical. But do not take it for granted, don’t make it “happen”. It’s one of the little things we should not attempt to control. Just a little anecdote on this: We all expect concentration and alertness in the Hall (wherever that is) when a piece is over. When a piece is long, meaningful and ends very softly (like the three pieces in Saturday’s program) we “expect” the tension to go into “nothing”. But there are surprises: I remember specifically how surprised I was when after a Beethoven Nr.9 with it’s big and ! loud ending there was – 7 seconds of silence…
I’m very careful (not) to say anything about what Tchaikovsky meant at the end of the Pathetique. I believe that what I feel he says is an interpretation on my side. It’s the heartbeat, the desperation, then Death. It’s a very concentrated ending….”

Anyway … I guess I just can’t get too riled up any more over this sort of thing. I’m just glad to have an audience. And what, to some requires absolute silence, doesn’t to others. I’m the absolute silence type, but I’ll survive.

Hmmm. Too tired to be making much sense right now. I’d better sign off ….

Finally, a Nutcracker video I actually enjoyed! :-) (How did they do the lights?) Too funny!

That darn reed. (Hmmm. What is it about bassoons and Nutcracker anyway?)

Super Mario Brothers (Oberlin bassoon quartet)

A Young Terry Ewell playing Flight of the Bumblebee.

Star Wars!

and finally …

Bassoons getting down and dirty or swingin’ (By Bassoonable)

(This is for you, Debbie she who shall remain nameless! :-)

A teacher who is only interested in great talents is like a man who only seeks the company of rich people.

-Carl Flesch

(Me? I am interested in talented rich people. ;-) Wanna apply? Registration fees aren’t terribly high, although that shouldn’t be a problem anyway. Right?)