As part of the 2012 Taiwan International Festival of Arts (TIFA), the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Harding gave two widely acclaimed sold-out concerts in Taipei this week. Even the highest priced seats at NT$4,200 were sold out weeks before the concerts. For classical music enthusiasts with a discerning ear, there is a way to avoid spending so much: the online program series, called “Live from Carnegie Hall,” offering listeners broadcasts of 12 live concerts with the world’s best musicians from Carnegie Hall’s 2011/2012 season, free of charge. This freebie is a real blessing for hardworking salary earners.
Thanks to modern technology, the “Live from Carnegie Hall” program series, presented in partnership with WQXR — New York City’s only all-classical music station — and American Public Media, offers a season-long series with 12 live broadcasts from America’s most famous classical music venue to listeners around the world, including those in Taiwan. Listeners can hear the world’s best musicians perform a program featuring symphonies, chamber music and solo pieces. “Live from Carnegie Hall” also takes into consideration the fact that some audiences may be used to having a hard copy of the program notes when attending a concert, so that they can refer to it and broaden their music knowledge while enjoying the music. Program details and notes are therefore available through the Carnegie Hall Web site.
In addition to broadcasting the performances, radio hosts guide people throughout the concert, including parts with the musicians tuning their instruments and practicing before the concerts and behind-the-scenes artist interviews before the concert and during the intermission. There are also live chats at the WQXR Web site. In other words, “Live from Carnegie Hall” not only provides the full concert, its online features provide additional insight, such as musicians talking about music, an opportunity not available to those attending a real-life concert. In order to make up for the lack of a visual experience, photos of each concert are uploaded online with captions. These photos show, for example, that Simon Rattle conducted Mahler’s nearly 90-minute Symphony No. 2, known as the Resurrection Symphony at the podium at Carnegie Hall entirely from memory, without referring to the full score.
The series debuted with Valery Gergiev conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra on Oct. 11 last year, and as of last Saturday, six of the 12 concerts had been broadcast. Including the premiere, they were: Ivan Fisher conducting the Budapest Festival Orchestra, Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducting Orchestra Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Simon Rattle conducting the Berlin Philharmonic, Finnish dramatic soprano Karita Mattila, and Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. “Live from Carnegie Hall” will continue to present six more concerts: Lorin Maazel conducting Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra tonight, L’Arpeggiata on March 15, Les Violons du Roy on March 25, the Pavel Haas Quartet on April 27, the Cleveland Orchestra on May 23, and the concluding concert, a solo recital by pianist Lang Lang on May 29. Now, you can hear the performances from Carnegie Hall exactly as they happen. For more information, please visit Carnegie Hall’s Web site at www.CarnegieHall.org/WQXR.(Lin Ya-ti, Taipei Times)