Wednesday, August 12, 2009

National Symphony goes on Twitter

I'm something of a congenital late adopter -- I don't have a Twitter page and have no immediate plans to get one, and just went up on Facebook a month or so ago. And when it comes to symphonic music I'm something of a traditionalist. Most efforts to popularize symphony music or make it more youth-friendly are either mildly ridiculous and don't work or cheapen the product. Nonetheless, the art is perpetually one generation from extinction, so I'm glad to see orchestras trying things to make the music more relevant or accessible, even if most of them don't work.

So this story about the National Symphony in Washington planning to Twitter a performance of Beethoven's 6th (the Pastorale, used in Fantasia) is at least intriguing. The orchestra will send small messages throughout the performance with the conductor's commentary and various parts, e.g., noting that Beethoven annotated the score such that Nightingale=flute, Quail=oboe, Cuckoo=clarinet. One can sit in a special section of WolfTrap during the concert -- presumably so others won't be bothered -- and read the tweets as you listen.

promising to me. It's not all that different from the way I sometimes use liner notes or booklets when listening to a piece I haven't heard before, to get a little more depth of information, which to me translates into more depth of appreciation, about the piece.

No comments: