Why do you keep saying that? I do not think it means what you think it means.

When pianist Yefim Bronfman steps onto the Walt Disney Concert Hall stage Thursday night for the first of four consecutive concerts with Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the moment will be weighted with musical history.

...as with everything ever done by every musician ever. Except musicians from Xiglot-2—they have no short nor long-term memory formation capacity. I feel for them, but they don’t know what they’re missing. (By the way, that would be some odd music!)

Nonetheless, I’m curious, David Mermelstein: Since when have “moments” supplanted “events?” For me, it’s rather disturbing. If you’ve seen any baseball this season, you’d have seen this transformation take place as clear as day. Take, for instance, the All-Star Game, to name one. Part of the pre-game ceremonies had a number of Hall-of-Famers introduced, by position, at which time they ran onto the field. It was kind of a gigantic self-masturbation for baseball fans who probably remember some things, especially pertaining to baseball history. What threw me for a loop was the sportscasters’ proclamations that it was an historic “moment,” (not to mention the pre-pre-game shows’ proclamations that said it "will be” an historic moment) as if it were (or will be) one, lonely instant on the time continuum, like all the HOFers suddenly appeared on field, and that was a historic “moment,” then they disappeared.

See, as I understand it, time is experienced in a roughly linear fashion (don’t get me started about how the brain tends to fill in missing gaps of memory and how it often rearranges bits of information on the timeline). So, if moments in a continuum are the carriers of historical weight, exactly which moment of the “first of four consecutive concerts with Esa-Pekka,” will be weighted by history, in your estimation? Don’t you mean “event?”

No. That would be too easy.

And that's saying something for a man who was a protégé of Isaac Stern, studied with Rudolf Serkin and Leon Fleisher, roomed with Yo-Yo Ma and made his first major orchestral appearances in the U.S. under the baton of Leonard Bernstein.

Those performances were when Bronfman was 18. Now, at 50, he is famous throughout the world.

Yes. A lot of historical baggage, weighing down everything he does.

But the Philharmonic concerts, at which he will perform Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto, will be his last Disney Hall dates with Salonen as the orchestra's music director.

So that’s why it’s significant. Guffaw! That’s like saying, “A moment of George Bush’s fourth-to-last day in office will be weighted down by history, because it will be the fourth-to-last day he will have Dick Cheney as his vice-president.” While technically correct, the significance lies elsewhere, namely, the fourth-to-last day, not a particular moment from that day. See? And the significance of that fourth-to-last day is rather dubious, too.

Remember Peter Serkin’s last concert series with Seiji Ozawa in Boston? Me neither. Thankfully, you’ll be able to see them together again in Boston this November 28th.

So much for historically weighted last moments and stuff. Can't wait for their second "fourth-to-last" performance together five years from now, too.


Sator Arepo said...

Does anybody want a peanut?

Sator Arepo said...

Also, never start a land war in Asia.

Oh, shit! Someone forgot that one.