|Your faintly intrepid reporter listens at the door to Brahms' Sonata op. 78|
The large double doors into the performance space of the Sale Apollinee--into which I'd never been before--were firmly closed. I ducked into a door before and off to one side of them, from which I'd clearly heard music, and found myself in a large mirrored room awash in gold flowered wallpaper, gilt trim, chandeliers, wall sconces--and music. I hadn't heard live music of any sort for months and suddenly it was like I'd dropped into an ocean of it.
And I had it entirely to myself.
For there, just a few feet from me on the other side of double doors, were the performers on stage, while on my side of the double doors there were only the most docile of quadripeds: side chairs and settees.
But did I dare go right up close to the door to listen and watch? The musicians' backs were too me, but what if the page-turner saw me?
Well, it was during Brahms' searching Adagio that I realized fully how much one's enjoyment of classical music can benefit from a certain illicitness.
Seated in the institutionalized propriety of, say, La Fenice or Carnegie Hall, it's impossible to believe that The Rite of Spring could ever have caused anything like a riot. But up close, by yourself, lurking someplace where you're probably not supposed to be and where no one can see you, the music reaches you with a renewed immediacy.
Or at least, it did me. Perhaps the immediacy is always there for those who are knowledgeable about music as I am not. But I wonder if even folks like those wouldn't like sometimes to be free to do whatever they like while listening to a live performance: lie on their backs on the stage, pace the aisles of the auditorium...?
I didn't lie on my back in my large private listening room, but by the Allegro molto moderato I did find it quite enjoyable to be able to walk around as I liked, closer or further from the performers as I was moved to.
But at the end of the Brahms, succumbing to a sense of propriety nevertheless, I thought it best to enter the main sala and take a regular seat along with what turned out to be almost a packed house.
The works by Fano, Szymanowski, and Franck that followed, as well as two truly spirited encores by De Ascaniis and Rinaldo, were marvelous--though my experience of them, from the back of the approximately 170 seat auditorium, was not quite the same.
But it turns out I happened to leave what I'd come to think of as my own private sala at just the right time as, in reality, "my sala" turned out to actually be the backstage of the performers, who retreated to it at the end of each piece.
The schedule of the Scenari della Lontananza concert series appears below the photo.
|The relatively intimate space of La Fenice's Sale Apollinee|
31 May: Roberta Canzian, soprano
Roberto Bertuzzi, piano
10 June: Roberto Prosseda, piano
15 June: Rocco Filippini, violincello
Andrea Bacchetti, piano
Tickets are 15 euro (10 euro reduced), and a complete program of works to be performed may be found at: