Take Our Poll! Wed, Feb 9, 2011

Program notes: Yes? No?

Do you like to see a paper program before or at a concert, telling you the name of the selection, the composer, the movements? Or do you prefer to just listen to the music?

I really like having the program so I can try to learn who wrote what. I study my programs in advance as a kind of data base, to identify if something “rare” (to me) is going to be performed.

And I really appreciate performers who email the program in advance! I can print it at home, do research, make notes, and bring it along to the performance. Where I make more notes.

On the other side of the issue, Magda Kordylasinska, a percussionist from Poland, doesn’t like program notes. (She appeared in Prague on Tuesday with Kwadrofonik, as part of the excellent Ambassadors’ Concert Series.)

“We would like the audience to listen and not try to search to find something, and not identify every [quotation in every] piece,” she tells Opus Osm. “Our music is not a transcription.”

That would be difficult for the folk-classical-jazz group, a combination of two original piano/percussion duos. “Our music is to listen to, not to find details,” she says enthusiastically.

One other argument on the no-program notes question: less paper to rustle and drop during the performance!

What’s your opinion? Click on the ballot, below. — Mary Matz

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