Re: concert/diffusion/performance

Subject: Re: concert/diffusion/performance
From: Linda A. Seltzer (lseltzer@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)
Date: Fri Oct 25 1996 - 14:56:41 EDT

The issue of live performance vs. prerecorded music, as discussed by
Jeff and Derek, relates to the issue of lyric vs. dramatic aesthetics.
A piece involving lyric aesthetics addresses the interior and
therefore in such cases a live performance may not be necessary.
Tape pieces, for example, may be involved with lyric aesthetics,
the aesthetics of interiority. In contrast, dramatic works
may depend considerably on realization in live performance.

The two types of aesthetics may not map out precisely into
neat classifications such as lyrical poetry vs. the theater.
In my research on Pelleas et Melisande, I found early writings
by Maeterlinck in which he stated that the works of Shakespeare
are ruined in live performance. Maeterlinck felt that when
reading the dramas of Shakespeare, the reader may call forth
imagination and conceive of the characters in a symbolic and
almost mythical form, but he feels that the characters and
the literary issues they raise are trivialized when the dramas
are performed live. Some of Maeterlinck's own dramas seem
more suitable for reading than for production - for example,
La Princesse Maleine and Aglavaine et Selysette.

Ancient Chinese poetry is, of course, more related to lyric
aesthetics than to dramatic aesthetics, since in the original
Chinese, there are few, if any, grammatical connectives,
and the reader must imaginatively make the connections between
the various Chinese characters in the poem.

Linda Seltzer

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