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Orchestral performers (Was:A more dramatic retirement from performing than Glenn Gould's!)

   Jon Windust wrote:

> One of the things that really surprised me when I met members of our
> symphony orchestra is their lack of passion for what they are doing.  For
> many it was just a job and a bit of drudgery.  It just doesn't seem to tie
> in with the energy and the emotion of the music they play.
> This is anecdotal but I feel that the ones who lack the passion are those
> who were over encouraged by their parents to learn an instrument as a child.
> They have gone down the path of performing in an orchestra because that is
> their one skill.

Possibly.  But I don't think it is so surprising. Whether they feel passion
or not for music,  surely to the members of an orchestra is _is_    their
job; their everyday work, their method ofearning money and supporting their
families.  There is nothing wrong with this.They are not soloists, not
celebrities;  In general, nobody  (as with someone like Gould) will
interview them to ask their opinions, nobody invites them to write articles
demonstrating their knowledge and enthusiasm, nobody makes films of them
abandoning themselves to the ecstasy of making beautiful music or follows
them with cameras snapping every passionate gesture and expression .

They are, of necessity, team-workers.  They perform according to  a schedule
that is not theirs to determine. And they do not have individual choice as
to ewhat music they play at each performance. Surely, in such circumstances
we should not be surprised that it is difficult, outside the concert hall,
to demonstrate the passion and individuality  of a Glenn Gould? And as they
need to work together as a team, would it be   desirable or necessary   for
them to do so?

I have a cousin who all his life, until his recent retirement, has been an
orchestral musician. Now, he teaches.  Although we do not meet  particularly
frequently, it did in the past  puzzle  me too that he appeared not to
demostrate much true passion for music. But then I thought, Why should he?
I  personally am not able  to say whether or not he (or any other orchestral
player)  _does_  feel  deeply passionately about music; perhaps he does, but
feels no need to discuss this or to demonstrate it to  me or other
non-musicians around him, who may not share   either  his interest or
tastes. In a practical sense, music is simply his job. Most people do not
spend  all their spare time talking about their jobs, if they have other
outside interests too!

But with a giant like Glenn Gould. what a difference; music was his passion,
his life, his raison d'être, the way he communicated with the world. Because
of this, he gave us the most marvellous gift of his art, left is a precious
legacy. He personally preferred to work solo as an individual, he
notoriously did not favour performing with an orchestra. Obviously,other
musicians have different ideas.

And as for the dropping of a piano into a lake .....  I think Gould might
have laughed, and said that he understood the sentiment behind the action,
but privately he would have disapproved at such an ostentatious display .
And the "Last Puritan" would have winced at the idea of consigning a
perfectly good piano to the deplths  (after all, Nessie Russell's post
stated that the drowned piano was the one that had just been used for a
public concert, so it can't have been  all that bad!)


PS  ...on a completely different topic, (and I havent checked to see if this
has been discussed previously on F-minor) ....Has anybody bought or read
"Northern Music" ....the book of 'poems inspired by GG', that was published
some time ago? And if they have, what did they think? Were the poems good or