Posted by John Edens on February 17, 2003 at 17:36:25:
In Reply to: rock concerts vs. symphony concerts posted by observer on February 17, 2003 at 13:16:28:
You have a valid observation, but you missed out on one very crucial point.
IN GENERAL, the level of musicianship in popular recording artists today is quite low, and (obviously!) the level of musicianship in most professional symphony orchestras are quite high.
I have had the opportunity to attend concerts by amazing musicians who are popular artists such as Carlos Santana, Ben Folds, and the like. These concerts were far better than their recordings, because no recording does justice to a fabulous artist at work.
A recording is merely an auditory snapshot, and a studio recording is like a photograph that has been staged. No matter how good or bad an artist is, most studio recordings sound relatively average. This is part of the reasoning behind many great musicians cringing at the sound of themselves on tape, and the delight of many second-rate... ugh, I shudder at the thought of calling them musicians... at how "the recording engineer was able to fix their sound in the mix."
For an immature, somewhat unskilled musician, working toward and achieving this average is a goal. For a musician that understands the intimacy between a performer and his/her/their audience and that music itself is a form of communication, obviously a live performance is the ultimate.
Therefore, it is not the genre of music, ie: rock vs. classical, that is responsible for the phenomenon observed by Observer, but instead the ability and maturity of the musicians of any and every genre.