Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Chamber Music: An Idea Whose Time Has Come...Again

Le Devoir has a story today about bringing music to private gatherings.  A young musician named Brigitte Saint-Aubin has begun a web site Show de Salon with the aim of hooking up people who'd like to provide music for their friends with musicians open to giving small house concerts.

This, of course, was the idea behind chamber music originally: music played in a drawing room, not in a concert hall.  The rise of large ensembles pushed that to the side, so that most music in the 20th century was made in public places.

But the economics of music have changed considerably in recent years.  Fewer and fewer places are open to concerts, and it's tougher and tougher for musicians to make a living.  That's why an increasing number of them are offering to bring the music to homes and other small gatherings.

Elin and her friends have been doing this in a serious way for the last couple of years, giving concerts in swanky lofts and toney beauty salons as well as small public halls.  (Here's a link to one of the groups, La Cigale led by theorbist Madeleine Own.) Guitar maker Michael Greenfield also runs a series of guitar concerts in his fascinating workshop.  It's another example of everything that goes around, coming around, yet again.

The photo, by the way, is of the viola da gamba that Elin had made a few years ago.  A good mascot for musicians...

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