Re my applause posts below, Peter Rolufs writes from Tokyo:
Considering "the direct relationship between the greatness of the audience and the unruliness of the music" I was by all means disturbed when a "young lion" of jazz at New Orleans's leading club Snug Harbor made a sarcastic remark between songs about the audience not listening. The place was packed, and for good reason, because this cat was indeed a lion. Well, there was a bit of a din, but I for one was concentrating full-on as the music was sublime, and by golly the din fit right in. The lion's dad would have known better, I thought.
In the notational world, I wonder if the return of the great audience could be had for the price of a bottle of wine and glasses (and glass holders) at every seat. Mahler, brought to you by Blue Nun. Beethoven, brought to you by Budweiser! The cymbalist could be the orchestra's token drunk.
Actually, I wrote "the unruliness of the audience and the greatness of the music," but that's just the point, ain't it? Greatness and unruliness are often interchangeable. On the too rare occasions I make it to a jazz club — as, for example, when I saw Cecil Taylor at Iridium last spring — I feel I'm in audience heaven: informality and seriousness are in perfect balance. The Budweiser Beethoven Festival is also a brilliant idea.