Friday, 5 January 2018

Concert halls and distance

New concert halls in a modernist style create the opposite impression of what is intended: instead of bringing classical music into the 21st century by giving it a futurist shell, they create the impression of a museum culture, since almost ALL of the repertoire being played in them, stems from pre-modernist times. Pre-modernist music is not merely an acoustical thing, but has a cultural aura, as the style of a concert hall has its aura and its psychological meaning. Listening to Mozart in a modernist hall is like observing an object from antiquity in a modern glass box in a museum: it stresses the distance, sets the object apart from life, because of the deleted context, and confirms 'the past' as 'another country', inaccessible, impossible to relate to.

Since music is the art form most strongly related to actual, direct emotional experience, putting it in a glass box is the worst possible way of presenting it.

Here, we can see the full-blown misunderstandings such halls inspire:

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