Saturday, October 29, 2011

I must say

that I am mighty tempted to secure a seat for one of these Ring Cycle series in the spring.  I don't know Wagner's music well at all, so it is more a program of self-education than of true self-lavishing pleasure, but it seems as though it might be worthwhile, and I do not know when I'll have such an easy chance again.  I have a ticket (up in the very highest, farthest-away seats, through bargain CU ticket-purchasing!) to the Philip Glass Satyagraha for later this month, I might scope out which of the not-quite-cheapest-but-not-so-expensive seats would seem an improvement on the basics if I were to go to Wagner - there are operas I will see from the furthest distance and steepest and most vertiginous seating (namely, anything Mozart), whereas Verdi et al. I will only see from lavishly expensive seats paid for by someone other than myself.  Wagner might fall somewhere between the two.... On the other hand, there are the HD simulcast performances also, where (as it has been observed) one can slip out to use the bathroom and get a drink of water...*

(It was this NYT review of Siegfried that made me think of it.  It is a minor point, but Eric Owens was my Philadelphia contemporary and the star student of my oboe teacher Susan Simon: I didn't know him in those days other than in passing, i.e. at Settlement music recitals, but he was one of those incredibly talented multifaceted musicians who you are not at all surprised to hear years later praised in print in the most glowing terms...)

* (Actually I have looked up the text of the FT interview with Thomas Larcher that I had in mind, and it is more vivid than my paraphrase: “If a four-hour Morton Feldman quartet is performed in a concert hall, you start thinking after 90 minutes ‘Well, I really have to go to the loo’. And after two and a half hours it’s martyrdom. But if you’re listening to the recording at home, while lying in bed and smoking some dope, it can be great.")

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