Critic: Tips for classical-music newbies

Posted on: August 13, 2018

“Classical music aficionados: Go away. This article is not for you,” writes Anne Midgette in Friday’s (8/10) Washington Post. “It’s for those who have been to one or two orchestral concerts but are still not quite sure what they’re supposed to be getting out of the experience…. Here’s a field guide with a few points to keep in mind…. Not many art forms offer you something as big as an orchestra concert: 100 people playing pieces that can last half an hour or more. These pieces offer an experience of time you don’t get in many other art forms… Classical music does amazing things to the human voice.… If you’ve heard Beethoven’s Ninth or Orff’s ‘Carmina Burana’ and liked them, there’s a lot more where they came from…. Classical music can do things that no other music can.… Classical music does make a particular kind of musical statement, often immersive, often longer than other forms and often in a particularly complex manner that involves the juxtaposition of different voices.… You have to meet it halfway … listening to the different sounds it offers … and, rather than worrying about what you’re supposed to get, thinking about what you do get.”

Posted August 13, 2018