Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Is this the world's most expensive cymbal crash?

Vociferous complaints of inadequate funding by the classical music establishment are all too often justified. But sometimes it is difficult for outsiders to accept that classical music exists in a state of perpetual penury. An example is the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester's six concert tour to America which has just ended. On Twitter a player with the German orchestra has reported that one of the percussionists on the tour made the 9000 mile round trip to the States and spent ten nights in hotels to play in just two of the concerts. The percussionist's sole contribution at these two concerts was the cymbal crash at the climax of the Adagio second movement - see above - of Bruckner's Seventh Symphony.

Image of Bruckner score via Loeb Music Library, Harvard. Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.


billoo said...

I've heard of a bang for your buck but this is more like a buck for your bang!

Simon Wills said...

The total cost of the percussionist's presence will have amounted to less than a quarter of the conductor's fee for one concert. The economic problems of the classical music world owe fas r more to the obscene avarice of conductors and agents than to this sort of thing.

Pliable said...

Quite so Simon, which is why the second and third links in my post point to just two of my many posts about "the obscene avarice of conductors and agents".

But, as my post said: "sometimes it is difficult for outsiders to accept that classical music exists in a state of perpetual penury". That difficulty comes in many forms. One form why a conductor needs to be paid £20,000 for a single concert - as highlighted in one of my links. But another difficulty is understanding why a prestigious orchestra requires a percussionist to travel 9000 miles and spend ten nights in a hotel to crash the cymbals twice.

Hence my post.