Friday, September 07, 2007

I Never Heard Pavarotti Sing..........

....which is a great pity. Of course, I have heard recordings of him, which are now the best we can do. But nothing compares with hearing an artist live.
In one of my father's rare bursts of extravagance, he once invested in the latest in technology for record playing. It was called the Pye Black Box and combined with a new system of recording, by Decca, I believe, was a quantum leap in music reproduction.
But returning from a concert, he would put on a recording and, slowly shaking his head, say β€œIt's not the same, is it?”
And it isn't.
And matters have not improved too much for all the impressive technology. CD recordings, which are touted as having the background noise suppressed, sound soulless, the technical whizz kids having forgotten that much of the concert hall atmosphere comes from the background noise which they have kindly suppressed.
Opera has never been one of my favourites, along with ballet, but it's the music and the singing that I enjoy. I always found the stage cavortings a bit of a distraction and so would attend, often with my eyes shut. I reckoned the management should have let me in for half price.
But if Pavarotti should be remembered for anything other than his magnificent voice, it is surely that he has aroused so much popular support for good music.
And that can only be a good thing – as long as you don't try to listen to it being squirted through the earpiece of an i-Pod and go to a concert instead. We will never hear Pavarotti again, more's the pity, but his memory will linger on.


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