28. October 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Ramble

… or is it “sort of live but not quite but it will sound stunning”?

The oboist’s query
He drops by the control room after the performance to consult with Neubronner. The night before, Bennett’s first note in a key solo had been a mite flat. He wants to know how it came through tonight. Neubronner hesitates; he doesn’t like to criticize performers immediately after a performance (it’s when they are “most vulnerable,” he told me earlier). But, pressed by Bennett, he concedes the note was a little sharp.
Bennett is OK with this; he had wondered and needs to know. Because in this high-level performance world, the idea of realizing the score, even for an instrumentalist of Bennett’s stature, is an ideal that’s hard to reach and a matter of subjective judgment.
“Subjectively, there’s no way you can know how well you played,” he tells me a few minutes later. “Like last night, I felt really great after the concert, and I didn’t talk to Michael” – Tilson Thomas – “because I didn’t want to burst that bubble in any way.” (RTWT)

Richard Sheinin has been doing a series in the Merc about the live recording sessions of SF Symphony’s Das Lied. It’s been quite interesting.

Live performances aren’t exactly what some might think these days. There is a lot of “cutting and pasting” so to speak. What they are striving for is the “perfect live performance”. Of course hearing recordings one hears all the little problems that don’t come out as strongly in a concert hall, or don’t really matter in the concert hall as they might on a recording. (I suppose it’s kind of like Dan’s pictures; what he puts together is what he—Dan, correct me if I’m wrong—sees in his mind’s eye … what he remembers to be the truth of it all. It’s not dishonest, but it’s not just a quick print from a photo either.) I’m sure some will disagree with me. But that’s not unusual, is it? :-)

Anyway, read the articles and you’ll get a glimpse into the recording studio of the SFS.

Part One
Part Two
Part Three

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