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It was my big chance - hearing Jordi Savall and Hespèrion XXI - and, I had thought, a fitting end to a great few days of talks, concerts and even a film at Aldeburgh.
Only he and his three fellow musicians weren't a string quartet, but we were sitting in the same artificial hush as if they were, and we were hearing them play what was clearly, oftentimes, music for dancing as if in a concert.
But we were in a concert, and the mismatch just didn't work for me any more than it does when people in a jazz gig do not have a natural impulse to applaud - or even urge on - a striking solo.
The ancientness of one instrument that Savall was playing was patent in that it looked like a tree-stump, but I didn't know which was which of it and the other, and the way in which the music was coming to us in this place seemed at odds with however accurate the performance style and elaboration of each piece may have been: I just could not believe that it was intended to be presented in this way (in more ways than one).
Yes, maybe, if there had been dancers, it would have been different. I don't know what would have helped me feel that I was not in a sterile environment, trying to listen to the life in what was being played, but I just know that, however appropriately relaxed the musicians were, the resultant event felt stiff and unnatural.
I took the chance to write about Tamara Stefanovich's recital, and didn't go back for the second half. For me, that helped to preserve (not just as a blog posting) what I had related to in those few days, so that I could drive home happy.
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