Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Repeat Button

Tim Smith, classical music critic at the Baltimore Sun, in a review of a performance of David Lang's "A Little Match Girl Passion," writes:
The only disappointment, given the roughly 40-minute duration of the composition, was that it didn't get performed twice. I'm sure the sold-out crowd would have gladly stayed for a complete encore. 

I'm glad to hear of someone else who thinks this is a good idea. A single listen is not really enough for most new music and music that isn't performed frequently. A repeat encore performance would give the audience more time to really listen to the music.

Oh-- you noticed that I used the word "most"? I'm thinking about how I read new poems twice, once for feeling and once for a little more discovery--except that I don't read everything twice. I can decide quickly, and for myself, whether I think a poem is worth repeating. It's a different situation in a concert hall, where a conductor or an ensemble must usually make that decision in advance, regardless of audience reaction, being aware that some people trapped in the middle of rows won't want to hear a piece again.

I say what the heck, just play new works under 8 minutes long twice no matter what, and at least consider it in other cases. 

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