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Thread: A fly on the wall.

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    Default A fly on the wall.

    Are there any specific, classical-music related times you can think of where you would have wanted to be "a fly on the wall"? Perhaps a favourite composer composing a certain piece? Perhaps a certain performance? Share any that interest you!

    I've read that Mozart and Haydn would occasionally play string quartets together, that really would have been a sight to see.
    Last edited by SeanWolferl; May-26-2012 at 23:10. Reason: Typo.

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    Senior Member Norse's Avatar
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    When Handel was in Italy, he and Domenico Scarlatti faced each other in a sort of keyboardist's duel. Scarlatti was deemed the winner on the harpsichord while Handel was the best on the organ. It probably wouldn't be my first pick if I could choose anything, but it sounds like a fun thing to witness.

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    Senior Member DeepR's Avatar
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    Mahler 8 premiere seems quite an event.

    Horowitz and Rachmaninoff playing 2 pianos in some basement I think.

    Liszt meeting Chopin

    and numerous other meetings between famous composers and/or pianists
    Last edited by DeepR; May-27-2012 at 00:22.

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    Senior Member Hausmusik's Avatar
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    I'd love to know what Ignaz Schuppanzigh's quartet sounded like as they played (or muddled through?) the premieres of some of the best quartets of Beethoven and Schubert.
    Last edited by Hausmusik; May-27-2012 at 00:54.
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    Four Organs by Steve Reich at the Carnegie Hall 1972.
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    It's the greed of huge companies and huge organizations which control life in a kind of a brutal way ... It's gotten worse and worse, somehow, because physical science has given us more and more terrible deadly weapons, and the human spirit has been destroyed in so many cases, so what's the use of having the most powerful country in the world if we have killed the soul.
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    Moderator Huilunsoittaja's Avatar
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    I would have loved to be a fly on the wall on a few days.

    The night Glazunov's 1st symphony was premiered, in some hall in St. Petersburg.

    The day Glazunov found out Tchaikovsky died, wherever he was.
    The same time, when Rimsky-Korsakov found out Tchaikovsky died, wherever he was. Just to compare the 2 reactions:
    "NOOOOOOO!"
    "Heh...that's just too bad."
    Something like that I presume.

    Last one, Prokofiev playing one of his piano sonatas, probably the 2nd, alone in some practice room.
    Last edited by Huilunsoittaja; May-27-2012 at 17:24.
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    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Musician to non-musician encounters-

    Interaction between Beethoven and Goethe.
    [There was at least one famous time when they encountered one another.]

    Conversations between Mahler and Freud on the strand at Leiden, Netherlands.

    Exchanges between Wagner and Nietzsche (particularly the one that led to the falling-out).

    [Honorable mention (although it's sort of 'musician-to-musician'): Stokowski claimed that Elgar revealed the 'Enigma-secret' to him. I am 99+% sure that this was ß.$.- but if there is an 'Enigma-secret' and Elgar shared it with anyone, I would've liked to have been there for that...]
    Last edited by Chi_townPhilly; May-27-2012 at 17:54.
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    I've got a couple.

    - Any Liszt performance. I imagine they were all good.
    - Horowitz's last performance at Carnegie Hall.
    - Mozart playing something when he was really young.
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    After the Rite of Spring premiere on Thursday, May 29, 1913, at the Théātre des Champs-Élysées in Paris
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    I'd like to be at those early conversations between Erik Satie and Claude Debussy in 1891 at Le Chat Noir, at the dawn of the new era of music.
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    Senior Member Turangalīla's Avatar
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    When Beethoven scribbled out the dedication to Napoleon Bonaparte on the score of Symphony No. 3 so hard that he tore through the page!

    Also, the circumstances under which Messiaen composed Quatuor pour la fin du temps, as well as the premiere of the work.
    "Perhaps only genius really understand genius."
    – Robert Schumann

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    Senior Member Stargazer's Avatar
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    I would have loved to have been present for pretty much any premiere of a major work. Nowadays most of the big classical works have been heard thousands of times and are very well-known...I think it would have been an amazing experience to be listening to them at the very first performance!
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    Senior Member Lisztian's Avatar
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    Whenever Brahms and Clara Schumann were together, alone.

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    I would have loved to be at the opening of the Bayreuth festival in 1876 when the first complete performances of the Ring of the Nibelungen took place . Everybody who was anybody was there;
    Tchaikovsky, Grieg, Saint-Saens, Bruckner, heads of state from all over Europe and even the king of
    Brazil, to name only some .
    I would have loved to hear how the legendary conductor Hans Richter, who had served as Wagner's right hand man for so long conducted the cycle (Wagner had his doubts) , and what the Bayreuth festival orcestra sounded . In recent years, we have had recordings of Wagner on period instruments by Norrington an dothers,
    and Sir Simon Ratt;le gave a concert performance of Das Rheingold with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightnment on period instruments a few years ago. It would be great how close our modern attempts to recreate the sound of Wagner's music in the 19th century have actually come. I'm not sure that they sound exactly like the orchestras of Wagner's day at all .
    It would also be fascinating to hear the voices of the singers of the day , and see the sets and costumes , wich would probably look comically quaint to us today. Some photos of these have survived . I suppose the acting of the singers might seem enbarassingly stilted in gesture to us today .
    Itr kmight be an interesting experiment at Bayreuth to recreate the sets, costumes and special effects of the 1876 [production and ot use period instruments . If we only had a time machine . . . .
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    Senior Member Moira's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer View Post
    I would have loved to have been present for pretty much any premiere of a major work. Nowadays most of the big classical works have been heard thousands of times and are very well-known..
    Not so. Major works are still being composed and played. I have been at the premiere of several smaller works and a full scale oratorio, actually two full scale oratorios, as well as a full scale opera (the latter only the premiere season, not the premiere itself) over the years. South Africa is not at the forefront of the classical scene either.
    Last edited by Moira; May-28-2012 at 10:25. Reason: To fix quotation
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