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Thread: Anne-Sophie Mutter interrupts concert to admonish audience member who is filming her

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    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    This is a somewhat depressing thread for me, but it really does illustrate a point I have tried to make in other contexts here. In our electronic, internet era, the idea of an audience going to a concert hall and sitting still, quietly, and in darkness, while all focus their attention on the stage for two hours or up to as much as four hours, with only one or at most two short intermissions, is no longer appealing to many people, however much they may be interested in classical music or opera. Even some posters in this thread seemed to have abandoned this way of listening or watching.

    It does demonstrate that the aesthetic world of Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler et al. is in our past, a past that is fast becoming distant and all but unrecognizable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    This... does demonstrate that the aesthetic world of Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler et al. is in our past, a past that is fast becoming distant and all but unrecognizable.
    I hope you're wrong, but my sample size is too small for me to say.

    Last Sunday, we saw a performance by a really good string ensemble called Sphinx Virtuosi in an intimate (499 seats) theater on a local university campus (see details here). As they always do in this venue, they announced just before the performance began that the use of cell phones and cameras was prohibited. Including the encore, the performance lasted over 90 minutes. There was one 10-minute intermission. While the crowd was largely over 60, there were a fair number of students there. Not one person tried to use a cell phone or camera during the performance, and you could have heard a pin drop the whole time.

    Perhaps my experience is not representative of what one normally encounters. As I say, my sample size is to small for me to draw any meaningful conclusion. But I've never been disappointed in this little theater.

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    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluecrab View Post
    I hope you're wrong, but my sample size is too small for me to say.

    Last Sunday, we saw a performance by a really good string ensemble called Sphinx Virtuosi in an intimate (499 seats) theater on a local university campus (see details here). As they always do in this venue, they announced just before the performance began that the use of cell phones and cameras was prohibited. Including the encore, the performance lasted over 90 minutes. There was one 10-minute intermission. While the crowd was largely over 60, there were a fair number of students there. Not one person tried to use a cell phone or camera during the performance, and you could have heard a pin drop the whole time.

    Perhaps my experience is not representative of what one normally encounters. As I say, my sample size is to small for me to draw any meaningful conclusion. But I've never been disappointed in this little theater.
    Sounds like a great concert, wish I could have been there. Still, a series of relatively short pieces, and a total time, with intermission, of 90 minutes? A Wagner opera would need lots of cuts. (Edit: Notice only one movement from a Schubert string quartet, and other very short pieces.) But that may well be a good template for the modern classical concert.
    Last edited by fluteman; Oct-10-2019 at 00:51.

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    Senior Member Open Book's Avatar
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    I followed the link Bluecrab's link to see the details of the concert he attended. And discovered a whole new area of the forum I had never much noticed:

    Musicians and Listeners Community > News, Concerts and Events

    And what do I see under this link but a thread entitled "Post a picture of your concert" exhorting people to post a photo of a live concert they've attended. Looks like an awful lot of people are OK mixing cameras and live concerts.

    I wonder how the majority of the performers feel. If the younger ones are predominately OK with this, then that's how it's going to be.
    "No one chooses the tuba" - Alexander von Puttkamer

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    Senior Member Enthusiast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    This is a somewhat depressing thread for me, but it really does illustrate a point I have tried to make in other contexts here. In our electronic, internet era, the idea of an audience going to a concert hall and sitting still, quietly, and in darkness, while all focus their attention on the stage for two hours or up to as much as four hours, with only one or at most two short intermissions, is no longer appealing to many people, however much they may be interested in classical music or opera. Even some posters in this thread seemed to have abandoned this way of listening or watching.

    It does demonstrate that the aesthetic world of Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler et al. is in our past, a past that is fast becoming distant and all but unrecognizable.
    Glass half empty or even worse. The story is about the behaviour of one person and the disdain of the rest of the audience for that behaviour. And who in this thread has actually recommended behaving in the same way? I found some who were less than horrified but no-one who said "I do that, so what?".

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    This is a somewhat depressing thread for me, but it really does illustrate a point I have tried to make in other contexts here. In our electronic, internet era, the idea of an audience going to a concert hall and sitting still, quietly, and in darkness, while all focus their attention on the stage for two hours or up to as much as four hours, with only one or at most two short intermissions, is no longer appealing to many people, however much they may be interested in classical music or opera. Even some posters in this thread seemed to have abandoned this way of listening or watching.

    It does demonstrate that the aesthetic world of Wagner, Bruckner, Mahler et al. is in our past, a past that is fast becoming distant and all but unrecognizable.
    I agree with you and now feel thoroughly depressed.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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    Senior Member NLAdriaan's Avatar
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    Depressed? Come on, no need for depressions

    In my very long career as visitor of classical concerts, it only happens very rarely that something really embarrassing happens. I only recall two incidents, one similar to the one described here, with John Eliot Gardiner, raging at a visitor who took a flash photo in his face from the choir tribune. The other one was a hearing aid (how appropriate) that was beeping the entire first half of the concert.

    Remember that back in the days, there wouldn't even be seats in a concert hall and visitors would just treat the music as background music. And didn't Haydn compose the symphony with the "Paukenschlag", to wake up his snoring audience.

    As if Mahler, Bruckner and Wagner were all completely understood in their days and auditioned in awe and devoted silence, NOT.

    So, let's not romanticize the past, which is a regular habit here, and let's not generalize incidents to illustrate a supposed downfall of musical culture. I guess we can say that political culture is in some countries falling down rapidly, but the concert hall is still a good place to be!

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    Senior Member Tsaraslondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NLAdriaan View Post
    Depressed? Come on, no need for depressions

    In my very long career as visitor of classical concerts, it only happens very rarely that something really embarrassing happens. I only recall two incidents, one similar to the one described here, with John Eliot Gardiner, raging at a visitor who took a flash photo in his face from the choir tribune. The other one was a hearing aid (how appropriate) that was beeping the entire first half of the concert.

    Remember that back in the days, there wouldn't even be seats in a concert hall and visitors would just treat the music as background music. And didn't Haydn compose the symphony with the "Paukenschlag", to wake up his snoring audience.

    As if Mahler, Bruckner and Wagner were all completely understood in their days and auditioned in awe and devoted silence, NOT.

    So, let's not romanticize the past, which is a regular habit here, and let's not generalize incidents to illustrate a supposed downfall of musical culture. I guess we can say that political culture is in some countries falling down rapidly, but the concert hall is still a good place to be!
    I think you're both right and wrong. For the most part, I'd agree the classical concert hall is still a haven of peace, in which the vast majority of the audience, both young and old, listen attentively and behave with respect for both their neighbours and the performers. However I have noticed a falling off of concentration in the theatre, where quite a few people these days seem to make constant trips to the bar or the toilets and chat to theircompanions throughout the performance . Admittedly this behaviour varies depending on the piece being performed. I find it's less likely to occur in a serious play than in a musical. I also notice that audiences for companies like the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre are generally better behaved than they are for commercial theatre, though I'm not sure why that should be.

    On a slightly different, but related, question, I do think that our relationship with the smart phone is beginning to cause social problems and is often bad for mental health. I have a psychotherapist friend who jokingly told me that the smart phone is going to keep him in business for years to come. He may have been half joking, but he made the point that people are losing the ability to communicate directly with one another, which is causing massive mental health problems. He notes that, at the gym for instance, people don't look at each other as they move from one machine to another, shutting themselves off by wearing headsets and looking at their phones. Smart phones are addictive. I admit I found I became quite addicted to mine at one point, and now make a point of not looking at it for long periods. I've turned off all push notifications, so that it doesn't continually demand attention in my pocket.

    I admit it is wrong to romanticise the past and I think a longing for a past that never was is somewhat responsible for the political upheaval we are witnessing now both here in the UK and in other parts of the world, but technology can be a force for both good and bad and we should acknowledge that.
    "It's not enough to have a beautiful voice." Maria Callas

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  12. #99
    Senior Member NLAdriaan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    ... However I have noticed a falling off of concentration in the theatre, where quite a few people these days seem to make constant trips to the bar or the toilets and chat to theircompanions throughout the performance . Admittedly this behaviour varies depending on the piece being performed. I find it's less likely to occur in a serious play than in a musical. I also notice that audiences for companies like the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre are generally better behaved than they are for commercial theatre, though I'm not sure why that should be.

    ...On a slightly different, but related, question, I do think that our relationship with the smart phone is beginning to cause social problems and is often bad for mental health....

    ... technology can be a force for both good and bad and we should acknowledge that.
    Well, you sure go off topic.

    On the commercial culture (TV, certain theatres and musicals), I also experience these media generally to be more pleasing and flat than the publicly subsidized market.

    On the mobile phone, I fully agree with you. But internet has also brought us this forum, which amongst the sometimes hardheaded responses, also offers a lot of good musical ideas. But having said so, it still remains an artificial way of talking. Nothing beats face-to-face communications, but as you are all over the world, this will be impossible to arrange.

    In fact, a good classical concert is a great way to communicate the same emotions all over the audience and as such a unique communication tool. Therefor, it will unlikely ever go away

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    Senior Member fluteman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NLAdriaan View Post
    Well, you sure go off topic.

    On the commercial culture (TV, certain theatres and musicals), I also experience these media generally to be more pleasing and flat than the publicly subsidized market.

    On the mobile phone, I fully agree with you. But internet has also brought us this forum, which amongst the sometimes hardheaded responses, also offers a lot of good musical ideas. But having said so, it still remains an artificial way of talking. Nothing beats face-to-face communications, but as you are all over the world, this will be impossible to arrange.

    In fact, a good classical concert is a great way to communicate the same emotions all over the audience and as such a unique communication tool. Therefor, it will unlikely ever go away
    Yes, all good points, but if the classical concert will never go away (and I hope you're right), surely it has changed and will continue to do so. And as we age, we have to cheerfully accept the possibility that younger generation does have some good ideas in this area as in others. The only alternative is to become a crabby old curmudgeon.

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    Senior Member eljr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tsaraslondon View Post
    Anne-Sophie Mutter interrupts concert to admonish audience member who is filming her
    Terrible reaction from her. She should be ashamed.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
    Voltaire

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    Senior Member eljr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merl View Post
    Read this earlier today. Well done ASM. About time we countered this crappy obsession with using phones, etc in concerts. It's irritating beyong belief. I'm certainly not against phones / technology in daily life but what is the point of subpar recordings of a gig? Stupid. went to a gig at Glasgow O2 last week and half the show was hidden behind a deluge of mobiles. It p*ssed me off no end.
    Crappy obsession? Well done?

    Dude, we have the accumulated knowledge of the world in our hand wherever we go. We are in touch with our loved ones at all times. We are aware of news and business instantly.

    Crappy obsession?

    Maybe, just maybe your perspective is that of a crusty old man who fears change so he lashes out at it.

    No one is taking my "crappy obsession" from me.

    Dude, like it or not time is change so get over it.
    Last edited by eljr; Oct-11-2019 at 02:58.
    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
    Voltaire

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  19. #103
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fluteman View Post
    ...The only alternative is to become a crabby old curmudgeon.
    If people want to talk about me, it would be far more polite to address me directly. Really!


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    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    They oughta do like the Grateful Dead, and have a hub that people can plug their phones into, and record the whole thing.
    "The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?"
    -Confucious

    "In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg

    "We only become what we are by the radical and deep-seated refusal of that which others have made us." -Jean-Paul Sartre

    "I don't mind dying, as long as I can still breathe." ---Me

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  23. #105
    Senior Member Woodduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eljr View Post
    Dude, we have the accumulated knowledge of the world in our hand wherever we go. We are in touch with our loved ones at all times. We are aware of news and business instantly.

    Crappy obsession?

    Maybe, just maybe your perspective is that of a crusty old man who fears change so he lashes out at it.

    No one is taking my "crappy obsession" from me.

    Dude, like it or not time is change so get over it.
    Dude, like it or not you're being marched out of the auditorium between two crusty, change-fearing old men in uniform for ignoring instructions not to take photographs of the performers during the concert, which will resume when your irksome presence has been removed.

    But take heart! The accumulated knowledge of the world, including instant access to business and news, will be there to entertain you while you're standing out in the rain phoning your loved ones to come and take you home. Hopefully, they haven't gone to a movie and decided not to be in touch at all times.

    Incidentally, your thirty-dollar ticket is nonrefundable, so get over it.
    Last edited by Woodduck; Oct-11-2019 at 06:05.

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