Are you there God? It's me, Empiricus.

Let’s just get to this, shall we? Here’s Mark Swed.

There are many foolish attempts to change concert life, such as surveying young people who aren't interested in classical music about what bait would draw them in. Say we served pizza in cellphone-friendly concert halls, installed sofas and video screens, and guaranteed that no "song" would last more than five minutes? What if we made that gourmet pizza and supplied a fine Gewürztraminer to wash it down? Free iPhones to the first 50 who log on to our website?

Say we make a maximum age requirement for critics? Free copies of Aristotle’s Ethics to the first 50 who make absurd judgments based on wild opinion, then humorously attempt to satirize said judgment? Viagra?

But over the weekend, five serious young women gave two remarkable concerts here, and they weren't responding to surveys. These exceptional virtuosos have their own ideas about breaking down concert barriers.


Resourceful revolutionaries, they don't ask and don't pander but insist on change.


And by devising authentic new ways to concertize that feel right for them and their times, they proved magnets for the young.

New ways: magnetic for young.

Now that we know what these virtuosos are doing, let’s find out exactly how they accomplish it.

...QNG, as the recorder quartet calls itself, attacks tradition. The four women played nothing written for their period instruments Saturday, although they briefly acknowledged early music in arrangements of a John Dowland pavan and Hugh Ashton's Masque. Weirdly, they also arranged a short choral work by Bruckner for four recorders.

To me, this doesn’t sound all that revolutionary, nor weird.

But a whole lot more weirdly,

Wait. Wait. Wait. Hold on. “But a whole lot more weirdly,” !!!&^@%#^%$*!?????????? Yuck. Just Yuck.

But a whole lot more weirdly, they put on wigs and moved like robotic sex toys in Chiel Meijering's "Cybergirls Go Extreme."

Sex toys?

The confrontational Dutch composer, who has said that he likes to make these women sweat, is one of their favorites.

They enjoy getting sweaty, together?

Paul Moravec, a New York composer, heard QNG and immediately asked to write for them. They got "Mortal Flesh" two weeks ago and went through 20 different instruments in five minutes playing it Saturday.

Mortal Flesh

Kelly Garrison, the Chamber Music in Historic Sites general director, said during intermission that when he first offered some seats for a recorder quartet to SCI-Arc students, there were no takers. But a QNG sound check caught the kids' attention, and the seats were snapped up.

Hello? They were practicing Mortal Flesh and getting sweaty together like robotic sex toys.

Four attractive young women may be an obvious draw.

You think.

Their instruments -- some modern and made from organ pipes -- are striking and also a draw.

And how does one play a recorder? Click here (don’t worry, this link is safe for the kiddies)

By the way, I told you Fugue can be a four-letter word.

But the ensemble's music is modern, its attitude is with-it, and its virtuosity is mind-blowing,

It may be.

...all of which is the best youth bait of all.

Something bait.

Seriously, I have no doubt that these performers are top notch. However, Swed refuses to see what’s right in front of his face, sex. By doing so, he renders his thesis, well, stupid.


Empiricus said...

...4 days later and still no comments. Wow, apparently sex doesn't sell. Perhaps Swed was right.