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Classical 101

Making Music in a Modern World, Part 1

Boyce Lancaster talks with Maestro Albert-George Schram, former staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, about how modern audiences are far different than those who listened to Ludwig Van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart when the composers first performed their works. [audio src="http://wosu.org/audio/classical/2006/MakingMusicinaModernWorld-Part1.mp3"]

Highlights From This Interview:

Albert-George: "I'd love to do Mahler's Second (Symphony) once a month for our audiences. But I would want to talk to the audiences for an hour first. I need to explain (the work), because it's just not where we live anymore." Albert-George: "When was the last time any us of sat by the brook for as long as Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony's 'Brook Movement' goes on? The last time I conducted it, I asked the orchestra: 'Please think of when was the last time you even sat for ten minutes just by yourself in glorious solitude listening to the brook cobbling along for the 10 or 12 minutes that the movement does.' Well, Beethoven did. We don't." Boyce: "When I read about Mozart, a lot of the pieces he wrote were for amateurs, but for an amateur to be able to play the things that Mozart wrote puts them up at near professional status today. So when (Mozart's initial audiences) listened, they knew what was coming next." Albert-George: "Yes. I think audience were actively engaged in the discerning. Life has changed. We have to be cagey, and careful, and respectful about how he now go about trying to reach out to people."