23. May 2009 · Comments Off on Attend Live Performances … Please! · Categories: Links, Ramble

I was talking to a student the other day about a recording he was listening to on the way to his lesson. He was saying that he noticed there were a couple of mistakes made by the oboist … and the oboist wasn’t just a “nobody” either. (No, I’m not gonna name names.) I explained that he was hearing an older recording. It was done prior to the age of being able to patch in little corrections. He was hearing what was nearly a live performance. Not quite, of course; I’m guessing the oboist played several takes of each movement and chose his fave. But you didn’t just go back and fixed individual notes like everyone does now.

This is one of the many reasons I want my students to attend live performances. Even the best of the best can make a mistake. You need to understand that. You also need to hear the magic of live music; while it might have an imperfection, it also has something special that you simply won’t get in a recording. Trust me. It’s exciting. It’s moving. It can take your breath away. It’s not about perfection, although of course performers want that, but it’s about making music in a moment in time.

Maybe I’ll write more on this later. Right now I need to take a nap; I have a live performance tonight!

Oh … and speaking of live performances, the Van Cliburn Competition has started, and they have a live webcast you can watch and listen to. (If you don’t have the Silverlight program you’ll first have to download and install that.)

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