Ok, I went to the organ concert last Monday. First I have to say this: I’m sick of cultural solicitation. I mean, if your talent is so rare and scarce, charge the fair price and with that get more people motivated to acquire that talent. But why every time you sit down to hear classical music you need to go through all the cries about lack of funding and the begging for money? Just charge me, I get it. I pay for a good play and I would pay more for a good concert.
The organ that was installed in the amphitheater of Balboa Park is superb. The sunset was the perfect time to schedule a concert of this kind. Now, let’s go to the performance. The selection was excellent: Mars from The Planets of Gustav Holts, a bass interpretation of Old Man River and a declamation of Edgar Allan Poe’s Raven in the dark. But I have to say that the execution was at the level of a free open concert. There were people in the back cooking tacos and sipping bear in beach chairs. That’s why I insist: let the market take care of quality and cost. I won’t mind for a minute to pay the fair share of a concert professionally executed. Look what Andre Rieu is doing around the world with a repertory as popular as Strauss waltzes.
The most pitiful point was a comedian they put in the middle. His routine was bad even for lower class burlesque. I’ve seen best performances in third-world night clubs. Every time I find a mediocre artist I remember how distractive a talent can be. I can be an “ok” engineer and get by, but the cruel reality for artists is that you have to be the best just to survive. Different markets, different dynamics. That’s why I charge for my coding and sing for free in the shower.
But one thing I will say on behalf of free classical music: it’s the first time I see an organ concert where pets were allowed and they were singing along with the C sharp.