Camilla Tassi

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'Classical music' - beyond replication

Concert black wear, the recital hall, a proscenium orientation - these are choices, not neutral ground.

"..we can discover how the work of art develops and accentuates what is characteristically valuable in things of everyday enjoyment” (Dewey, Live Creature). 

Pushing for imagination. "To be thoughtful about what we are doing is to be conscious of ourselves struggling to make meanings" (Maxine Greene, Art & Imagination, 4).

If we are not struggling in our contextualization and interaction with an older piece,  or with our programming, we are likely not putting in enough intentional work. As Dewey writes, art becomes fossilized, as a museum piece.

When we have a choir perform Bach today, it is out of its original venue, historical context, sociocultural environment, and often work is performed in languages that an audience doesn't speak. Program notes are not enough, we are becoming passive. This is not absolute music, it is not devoid of its context - this holds true for Bach as well as for contemporary work.

The same level of care that we give to articulation, to the technical and sonic aspects of performance practice, should be given to how we present a work - who is the intended audience? Who is on stage? Why this piece today?