If music be the food of love, play on.
From this article in the New Yorker
Ninety-nine years ago, John Philip Sousa predicted that recordings would lead to the demise of music. The phonograph, he warned, would erode the finer instincts of the ear, end amateur playing and singing, and put professional musicians out of work. “The time is coming when no one will be ready to submit himself to the ennobling discipline of learning music,” he wrote. “Everyone will have their ready made or ready pirated music in their cupboards.” Something is irretrievably lost when we are no longer in the presence of bodies making music, Sousa said. “The nightingale’s song is delightful because the nightingale herself gives it forth.”
Although he was somewhat if not completely wrong about recordings would destroy live music, he is correct in stating “The nightingale’s song is delightful because the nightingale herself gives it forth.” There is nothing quite the same as a live performance. There is an urgency that is present in a live performance that is, at most times, missing from recordings.
I have seen various artists live during my lifetime and feel privledged in each occasion. I was fortunate to see both Virgil Fox and Harry Chapin shortly before there deaths. Each concert was an amazing if completely opposing experience.
Fox, amazed me with brilliant technique, the man literally had possibly the fast feet of any organist that I have ever heard.
Chapin, on the other hand, was at the end of a long tour and barely had a voice, he was hoarse and as a voice major I feared that he may do permanent damage to his voice, but he soldiered on giving a 2 and half hour concert in the face of a failing voice.
Yet each concert sticks in my memory as if it were yesterday. The sights the sounds the company the vibe of the audience.
I have seen shows on Broadway, and nearby in Philadelphia, I have seen wonderful performance, Michael Crawford as Phantom.
Actors whose names I forget, but performances that I don't. A little girl in Annie, singing You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile, with such verve and drive.
Les Miz on Broadway eight years after it opened, but with a cast that brought me to tears, the actor who played Jean Val Jean, incredible, and the girl that played Eponine, not the best singer, but her death scene was the best part of the play.
In August, I go to New York to see the Tony Award Winning Best Musical Spam-a-Lot, and cannot wait for the experience.
I wish I could thank the father of a boyhood friend of mine every day, for the experience of taking me to see the Philadelphia Orchestra, when he had a spare ticket that his family was not using. I saw one of the best orchestras in the world performing some of the best music ever written. I still remember, and still love, Strauss' tone poem, Death and Transfiguration, it is part of my music library because I heard it when I was in 10th grade, or about 15 years old, performed by the Philly. I don't remember who the guest conductor was, but I remember the music. And that is what makes it all worthwhile.
Where would we be without music?