Using Bees To Effect Vengeance
Tuesday, March 05, 2002
Last night, Sonnet and I did a fun thing with J & B. Namely, a steel cage match between six classical piano players to determine the Best Piano Player of the Century. The judges (except for J, who was the architect of the evening -- THANKS!) did not know who was who during the competition, a double-blind methodology being required to ensure the scrupulous fairness the participants deserved.
There were two stages: the Beethoven program and the Freestyle program. I predicted Vladimir Horowitz would win, but shocker of shockers, he actually came last! The Top 3 were
Gold: Daniel Barenboim
Silver: Glenn Gould
Bronze: Maurizio Pollini
My personal top 3 were Gould, Barenboim and MoPo, in that order.
It sounds dorky, but it was actually really fun. [Parenthetical aside: you know what? I'm going to stop using "dorky" as an antonym for "fun" because dorkiness more often than not = fun.] I recommend you do what we did -- just listen quietly, take notes to yourself, and then take turns discussing your emotional take on the piece. You'll get a lot more out of the music that way.... OK, even if you choose not to take notes, next time you're in the mood for some cultcha, don't use it as background music. I've often thought that being in the presence of the artists during performance accounted for the superior buzz of live classical music, but after last night, I think it's the lack of distraction that's the key variable.
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