I want to comment on Ivan's blog about the "funny" piece on the concert Friday. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to go, so perhaps this isn't the best thing for me to comment on. However, I do think that it's interesting to think about programming after the topics that we've read about in the past two weeks.
I too would usually think that the program order, or choice of that piece, might be inappropriate, especially being immediately before Schumann. But why would I think that? Is it only because my ears are used to "appropriately" programmed concerts that consist of only serious pieces written by Back, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann? Why are those "serious" pieces? I only say it because it reminds me of the change in programming and the idea that you cannot be well-behaved enough at a concert, or that you need to act in a certain way, and think a certain way. It seems as if earlier in the century (or the last century actually) people had a variety of choices in the concert hall. They were able to attend parodies, serious operas, vaudeville, but it doesn't seem that way now. We like to keep it all separate. But why? Maybe that is our problem. Perhaps we should add in something that could draw them in, let people see that classical musicians can be funny (and many of us are...). I know that we're always being told to think of something new to stand out and make our way in the world of music. When it comes down to it though, isn't this just another form of entertainment? Maybe we shouldn't be so serious about it after all.