Wednesday 8 June 2011

Will somebody turn the music down?

A strange tale from Music Vs Drama (via Jessica Duchen) of outrage at the concert hall:   During a performance of an apparently loudly amplified viola piece, a member of the audience begins to boo and heckle, leading to the abandonment of the performance and the damaging of the viola.  Violent outrage at new music seems like a madness of a time long passed to us (more 1911 than 2011), but this story gets stranger as it goes on.  The story, originally reported by Music Vs Drama, prompted comments from the violist in question, audience members, and the ultimately the chief heckler, who turned out to be none other than Bernard Zaslav of the pioneering Fine Arts Quartet, no strangers to contemporary music themselves.  Zaslav reveals that his protracted protest was due to the pain inflicted by the amplified nature of the work, which he says was unbearable.  It does beg the question, though, that if the music was so loud, how did anyone hear him over it?  And I love that in his response to the article and defence of his actions, he manages to include a full plug for his upcoming autobiography. Read more here.

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