In the Conservatory

Yes, it’s easy to memorise a piece when you’re playing one note at a time.

Per tradition, it’s interesting that memorisation is required for the musicians (pianists) who play the most notes all at one time.

Hola a todos. Mi amigo/My friend and I recently watched a performance of the rarely performed Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy for Piano, Orchestra and Chorus in Nihon/Japan. Marta Argerich was the piano soloist with a very fine Orchestra and Chorus from Nihon, conducted by Seiji Ozawa. It was a concert in honour of his 80th birthday celebration. I can’t provide the details about the performers because they were not listed. Mi amigo didn’t care much for the piece, but I like it and especially the choral section if one has a well-trained Chorus, which this Chorus from Nihon was. They sang with perfect intonation and clear, good German diction.

One person made a comment of disapproval about Marta using her score and wrote, “With her experience I would think she would know that piece.” I wouldn’t. Even though she did know it and played it perfectly. I guess this commenter doesn’t know that Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy is rarely performed in the big scheme of things. Beethoven’s Ninth gets the programming time these days — it’s one of The Big Three — not his Choral Fantasy. I’ve often thought the two works should be programmed together because you already have the Orchestra, Chorus and vocal soloists there on stage so all you need to do is to bring in a pianist to perform the Choral Fantasy. The vocal soloists in the Nihon performance were not screamers, which one typically hears these days. Of the bunch, I especially liked the soprano soloist, which I rarely say about soprano soloists. She never screamed, but sang more beautifully and with little noticeable vibrato. One or two of the guys had occasional pitch problems. And just because Marta used her score which she placed on the music rack rather than trying to hide it inside the piano and had a page turner sitting next to her — which I was very pleased to see — doesn’t at all mean that she didn’t know the piece. If the commenter had watched her closely as I did, Marta was mostly playing “from memory” at the beginning of the piece. She started looking at the score more closely as the piece went on. But clearly she “knew” the piece. What is wrong with some judgmental people? She just felt more comfortable with the score. And what’s the problem with using the score? Nothing else going on in one’s pathetic life than to be concerned about an artist using his or her score? This is one of the many hypocrisies/double standards of the Classical Music tradition.

Let me explain: For those who don’t know, according to (illogical) tradition and a tradition which makes absolutely no sense at all, a piano artist can use his or her score in some situations, but not in others:

In a piano concerto = no
In chamber music = yes
As a piano soloist, with or without orchestra = no
Accompanying another musician or a Chorus = yes

Let me elaborate on that a bit. So when a pianist is playing with a few (4) other musicians as in a Piano Quintet which is Chamber Music, the pianist can use the score according to tradition. But when a pianist is playing with a whole lot more musicians (as in with a Chamber or Full Orchestra), the pianist is supposed to play “from memory.” What difference does it make how many musicians you’re playing with and whether you’re the soloist or not? Which situation is the more stressful or anxiety-ridden experience where the pianist might appreciate being able to use the score? With an Orchestra where the pianist is the soloist, or at least that would be the more stressful situation for me. Yet that’s the situation in which tradition says, “No score allowed.” And what dictator came up with that convoluted idea?

As for other keyboardists, organists are allowed to use their scores whenever they want. That’s perfectly acceptable by tradition. But pianists? No, or generally no, depending upon the situation, as you see above.

So what idiot presumably with a lot of time on his/her hands and nothing else going on in their pathetic life dreamed up these ridiculous, duplicitous rules about when keyboardists can or cannot use his or her score? Or was it to emulate The Holy and Indivisible Trinity god Franz Liszt? Let me say this: The boy (Liszt) could play — nobody’s questioning that — but there’s no need to model the piano Classical Music traditions based on what he did, or what one person did. That’s ludicrous. What worked for god Liszt, worked for him. But no one else should be required to do what he did back in the 1800s. And that’s how outdated this caca is. (Franz Liszt lived between 1811-1886).

I was glad to see Marta using her score because it gave a more chamber music feel to the performance, and much of the piece (before the Chorus comes in at the end) is like chamber music. Obviously Seiji Ozawa and the First and Second Concertmasters had no problem with her using her score, so why would some arm-chair critic traditionalist commenter on U-toob have a problem with it? Maybe he could kindly give us a link to his performance of the piece where he played it “from memory,” no?

As a pianist, I’d like to come to Marta’s defence. The following cannot be said too many times:

Unlike most other instruments, pianists play more than one single note at a time.

Have most people never considered that?

This topic has come up before, and will probably come up again! Some people forget or don’t know that most orchestral musicians play one, single note at a time. That’s one note at a time. Whereas a pianist can be playing 10 or more notes all at one time with every finger on a key. Then we are lectured to by the busy-bodies, arm-chair critics: You cannot use your score. And why the hell not?

No disrespect at all intended to other musicians, but if one has mastered one’s instrument, anyone should be able to handle one note at a time “from memory,” don’t you think!?

String musicians can play two notes at a time — bowing two strings simultaneously — if they have to, which they call a “chord,” although a chord in music technically consists of three notes by definition. Having a single note to play throughout a piece is much, much easier to memorise than playing a handful of notes like keyboardists, guitarists and harpists play, something that many (most?) musicians don’t consider or are unaware of.

If keyboardists only had to play one, single note a time, I should think that we could all easily perform “from memory,” if that is so critically important to some shallow people.

But in the case of Rachmaninov, for example, and I know from experience, a pianist can have up to 11 (eleven) notes to play all at one time — with the thumb on two notes — as in the case of his Études-Tableaux and Piano Concerto No. 3. With Rachmaninov, the entire piece can be thick chords or thick textures using every finger to play his thick (and gorgeous) chords. And the fingering has to be carefully worked out to play his pieces beautifully, but that’s the case with any piece regardless of composer. For some pianists, it’s not easy to memorise handfuls of notes no matter how long one works on the piece or plays it, sometimes to the point of becoming sick of the piece from having worked on it too long or having overplayed it. And as one gets older, one’s memory is usually not as good as it once was in one’s prime. The brain does deteriorate over time, just like the rest of the human body.

There’s one local Performance Pianist — I call him a “production pianist”; he has really pumped out the repertoire over the years — in San Francisco who has a history of usually performing “from memory.” These days, he’s using his scores more. Good to see that. I talked with him on one occasion about his feelings on this subject. He said that using the score or not should be up to the artist; whatever s/he is most comfortable doing to get the best performance. I agree. And isn’t that what it all should be about, getting the best performance?

Some idiot conservative concert managers live with the outdated myth that if a piano artist is using his or her score, it means that the artist is unprepared. Utter rubbish. It’s funny that this outdated myth only applies to pianists — and no other musicians — and pianists have the most notes to play.

At the Conservatory where I trained, of course all of us piano majors were required to play “from memory” in our end-of-semester juries or when giving a student recital, or for the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra’s Annual Student Soloist Competition.

At the Conservatory, one of the more senior-aged piano professors was asked to perform with the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. She asked me to turn pages for her when she performed the first movement of a piano concerto. Nobody cared that she used her score and had me as a page turner. She told me privately, “I can’t memorise all this.”

But any other musician by tradition can use their score — such as all of those other musicians who are playing one, single note at a time — so why can’t pianists use their scores when, again, we pianist can be playing between 2 notes (as in a Bach 2-part Invention, for example) or up to 12 notes all at one time (both thumbs on two keys in some of Sergei Rachmaninov’s music)?

Some musicians say, “Well as long as you work on a piece, you can play it in your sleep.” I suppose that’s true for anyone playing one, single note at a time. But if one is playing a handful of notes in both hands all at one time, it often doesn’t matter how long you’ve been working on the piece. I’ve had other pianists tell me, “The fingers have a mind of their own in performance.” And indeed they do! I know exactly what they mean. Things can indeed happen in performance that have never happened before (including some distraction in the performance space) or, such as memory slips, no matter how well you’re prepared. If you’re playing one, single note at a time, it’s usually no big deal when that happens and there’s quick recovery. But if you’re playing thick chords in Rachmaninov or complicated fugal textures, or anything more than one note at a time it can turn your “perfect” performance into feeling that it’s becoming a disaster — where you feel like crawling under the piano — and a quick recovery can be more complicated.

I’ve seen some pianists locally who never recovered from a memory slip, leaving out a chunk of a movement in a Beethoven Sonata, as an example. I went to hear this local Bay Area pianist awhile back. She played “from memory” and in her Beethoven Sonata she couldn’t remember how to play the second ending in the second movement. So, the second or third time around she stalled again and played the first ending again. She kept getting stuck at the second ending because they’re usually similar. Finally, she improvised in the style of the piece — good idea and the sign of an artist — and got past the second ending somehow, even though she never did play it. And her performance of the piece was about 15 minutes less in length than it was supposed to be because she jumped to near the end of the movement where her memory kicked back in for her. I felt sorry for her. My stomach was turning for her. She played well. I enjoyed her performance. She just had a major memory slip because she wasn’t allowed to use her score, per Classical Music’s fucked-up-in-the-head traditions. Let’s tell it like it is! Ugh, don’t get me started! She looked like she felt like crawling under the piano when she took her bow. Yes, I know that feeling. She felt absolutely disgusted, because I’m sure she knew the piece, but because of performance anxiety she couldn’t remember the second ending. And first and second endings can be tricky places in a piece because they’re so much alike.

During a performance, I’ve seen some string orchestral musicians look “wowed” by the playing of a pianist playing a Rachmaninov piano concerto, for example. It’s as if the string players were feeling inferior playing their one, single note at a time throughout the piece and the pianist playing two handfuls of notes all at one time perfectly. But no musician should feel inferior to another musician regardless of how many notes they’re playing. The point of this article is about memorisation and the insane hypocrisies dictated to pianists. I have the utmost respect for orchestral musicians.

Also, singers can only sing one note at a time, yet I had one concert manager strongly encourage me to play “from memory” in a piano performance I gave locally in San Francisco years ago. I played works of Rachmaninov, Poulenc, Howells and others. Then months later, she performed and sang her single notes throughout the piece using her score. Ms Hypocrite. (roll eyes) I would loved to have walked over to her at the end of the performance and said: Mi amor/My love [sarcasm], I noticed you used your score, not that I have any problem with that. It’s just that I thought this was a “from memory” establishment. Or that’s the distinct impression I was given when I performed here. Hmmmmmmmm? A double standard? (And then walk away from her).

With all the problems we have in this world, whether someone uses their score when they perform should be the least of our concerns.

For the performance from Nihon/Japan I mentioned earlier, they were using Editions Henle Verlag. I saw that blue cover — I know it well since I often used the Editions Henle Urtext when I taught piano — Marta was carrying her score when she came out on stage and I also saw the choristers vocal score.

I am seeing more pianists performing with their scores these days, which is good to see. Although some pianists lay the score down inside the piano near the strings. Why do that? Note to Pianists: Don’t feel ashamed to be using your score. There’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone can see you’re using your score because they can see you turning pages during the performance, so just put it on the music rack as you normally would do. Muchísimas gracias. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Homophobia is required for the Tango

Hola a todos. I was talking with some of the students in the Conservatory’s Dance Division this past week about something I saw on television. Shortly after turning my television on, the network I had on showed a headline: “International Tango Championship.” I thought: I don’t even want to see that because I know what that will be about: Him and Her. It’s always him and her. Where some of the guys look queer and are queer but are dancing with females to give the illusion they are straight. More closet cases? It’s quite a misrepresentation of the reality.

The female competitors look like mannequins/Barbie Dolls. As if the guy is dancing with a mannequin he picked up on his way over from a store window with a stiff case of rigor mortis. And check out the female’s extremely robotic, mechanical, head-snapping gestures while dancing the tango. I would think that some female tango dancers would have nerve damage/problems later in life.

Some of the students from the Conservatory’s Queer Alliance are in the Dance Division. They said they had seen what I had just described countless times and feel as I do. “After all this time, there’s such an inequality with gay males required to be paired with females” one of them told me. The Conservatory students from the Dance Division told me, “We’re allowed to dance with whomever we want here in our dance classes. The professor usually doesn’t pair of us up. We have quite a few same-gender couples in our dance class dancing together.” Excelente. As I told them: In these competitions, you can’t tell me there are not some lesbian dancers and they’re dancing with guys, and in some cases queer guys in the closet. What a misrepresentation, a distortion of reality.

The homophobic rules and homophobic people running tango dance competitions and heteronormative dance competitions in general require all dancers to be paired off as breeders/straight — always him and her — even when one or both of the dancers are queer. But watching these competitions, one gets the impression there are no queers in the world. But it’s not just tango. It’s the same on corporate network dance competitions. Queers are required to dance with the opposite gender to give the impression — to their bigoted, prejudiced and anti-gay basura in the audience? — that all the dancers are straight in our 24/7 heteronormative brainwashed society even when it is blatantly obvious that some of the dancers are queer.

In the case of this competition I mentioned at the beginning, the competitors were from anti-queer Russia and the competition was held in Buenos Aires, “The Birthplace of Tango.” But it’s always the same — him and her — regardless of where the competition is held.

The only time you’ll see guys dancing together is in line dancing where they don’t look like they’re dancing together, just standing in one, two or three lines and they’re not touching each other. No, you can’t have guys touching each other! Good heavens no! What will people think?! Yet it’s perfectly acceptable for females to touch each other and hold hands while walking and kissing because “that’s what girls do” says our heteronormative brainwashed society. (roll eyes) But guys?! No way! We can’t have that! (It’s always good to cater to prejudiced and bigoted people, isn’t it?). That’s when the hate starts and terms such as “faggot” and “fag” are screamed at guys. But guys can wrestle and fight and beat each other up, and engage in violence where they’re touching each other all over and sometimes on top of each other and the public love to see that. In fact, they can’t get enough of male-on-male violence. But touching each other in an affectionate way or in any other context? We can’t have that! Wouldn’t dream of it!

Ballroom dancing competitions on television are no different. Dance competitions on television require that no same-gender couples be allowed. Their intent is to give the message that “Everyone here is straight and normal.” Are you implying that queers are not “normal,” Mr/Ms Heteronormative Bigot? Who wants to be boring “normal,” whatever “normal” means, even when half of the guys look or are queer. And I should add that so often the anti-queer heteronormative bigots among us are closet cases themselves with their immense gay shame and self-hate because of their very real queer sexuality as they pretend to straight.

Repeating what I’ve written countless times before: There are still so many inequalities between queers and breeders, but sadly the corporatist basura among us — at those wealthy arrogant and elitist queer organisations at the federal and state level who live under the illusion that they know what is best for queers (of a certain wealthier income bracket of course; those who can afford to attend lavish galas with $250-500+/plate dinners) — decided that gay marriage and being (supposedly openly queer) in the US Military Killing Machine was the ultimate goal of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Movement, something I never knew. Frankly, I could have thought of much more important and pressing concerns than those two heteronormative goals of trying to emulate the straights as much as possible. And why would queers who initially stood for peace, social justice and strongly opposed militarism now want to be part of militarism and the US Military Industrial Complex Killing Machine and US Empire Building and World Domination? Queers have done a complete reversal. Do queers not realise that the person they injure or kill somewhere “in the line of duty” may be queer? So why do queers want to go kill other queers? Or do you plan to ask before you shoot, “Excuse me, but are you straight or gay?” Or if the person is somewhere in the middle and bi, would decision do you make there? Or have queers never considered any of this? Because not all of our chosen “Enemies of the Day” are straight you know.

Mi amigo/My friend sarcastically asked me: So why aren’t queers screaming about this inequality in dance competitions? I said: What drugs are you on? I realise you’re joking because as you well know, queers aren’t screaming about anything now. In fact, most seem to be back in the closet having willingly gone there including some marrying females to try to give the impression that they’re straight. So perhaps they’re quite comfortable with this back to the 1950s era and portrait of closeted queers in the tango and other dance competitions.

So there’s nothing else to do, such as remedying what I just described with dance competitions. There’s nothing else to work on. The thinking today seems to be that “all has been accomplished for queer equality” based on the behaviour of the now-dead so-called “queer community” in the non-United States. Nothing to see here. Moving along here in these Orwellian days. The Movement and serious queer activism is clearly over; complicit with the status quo. Well activism of any kind really is clearly over in the non-United States, other than the occasional flash-in-the-pan stuff. My point is: One should not expect to see the absolutely vigilant and very creative activism one has seen in Hong Kong happen here in the non-United States. Not. Going. To. Happen.

Muchas gracias to the Conservatory students I spoke with for their input. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Bernstein: 3. Sinfonie (Kaddisch) ∙ hr-Sinfonieorchester ∙ Tschechischer Philharmonischer Chor Brno, Limburger Domsingknaben

(Below the footnote, there’s an update as of 8 September 2019 regarding the demonstrations in Hong Kong, and a new development).

Hola a todos. Here in the Conservatory, at least two of the students I know of are from Hong Kong. One is a piano major and the other is majoring in violin. Both play beautifully. In fact, they’ve given recitals together with the pianist accompanying the violinist. I talk with them whenever I see them about the pro-democracy movement protests in Hong Kong which they’re closely following — a topic that doesn’t raise my blood pressure1 — where thousands-millions of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Hong Kong quite vigilantly over the weeks protesting. These well-organised protests are going into their third month. The protests began over the China Extradition Bill, which the Carrie Lam regime has refused to legally end. She’s the Chief Executive of Hong Kong. Isn’t she a piece of work? I know what I’d like to tell her, the same thing I’d like to tell the current White House occupant. They had a General Strike in Hong Kong shutting down the Financial District. That was very effective. Can you imagine a General Strike in the non-United States? Not. About. To. Happen. No way. The public here in the non-United States is too lame, uninformed, brain-dead, partisan-brainwashed, and status-quo. And anything that inconveniences their self-absorbed and self-entitled lives in the slightest they oppose. The protesters in Hong Kong don’t mess around. They shut down the Metro during the work week. Hong Kong has a huge Metro/subway system consisting of 91 stations. If one of the Metro systems were shut down here in the non-United States, the status-quo US public would be whinging/hating on the protesters, saying “I missed my train.” Oh, what a shame that self-entitled and self-absorbed you missed your train. As of this writing, the public continue their support of the pro-democracy protesters, especially after heavy-handed tactics used on the demonstrators by the Hong Kong Police Department. The demonstrators have protested at Hong Kong International Airport causing the cancellation of hundreds of international flights, and protested in the Financial District. Most recently as of this writing, the Barristers (Attorneys) in Hong Kong in large numbers came out of their offices and had a silent protest at the Department of Justice in solidarity with the pro-democracy protesters. It was excellent to see that. Meanwhile, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, refuses to resign or to meet any of the five demands of the protesters and is now belittling them in the most smug and patronising style spewing lies about them. I should think that the Barristers are offended by her most recent words since Lam was essentially slamming them as well. Carrie Lam essentially called them all enemies of the State without specifically using those words, saying the protesters were out to “destroy Hong Kong.” What Rubbish! I think she’s trying to compete with the current White House occupant in the Department of Lies and Bullying. Look up “useless politicians” in the dictionary and a picture of both politicians will be there.

There are many things — including despicable immigration raids where children are being taken from their parents — that the people in masses in the non-United States could be protesting against, including the current White House occupant(s). But, this is not Hong Kong. By vigilant Hong Kong standards, the people in the US don’t know what protests are. Unlike in the US where protesters ask The Establishment for permission to do a protest — if you have to ask permission, it’s not a protest but rather a state-sanctioned charade! — the protesters in HK don’t ask any permission. They just do it. So one should not expect that here in the pathetically lame and phone-addicted non-United States.

The Hong Kong demonstrators have been extremely creative and ingenious in their methods. Many of them are multi-lingual in Cantonese, British English and other international languages. Cantonese is the language spoken in HK as opposed to Mandarin on the mainland. These demonstrators want nothing to do with the mainland of China. Although they do use the same Chinese alphabet which one sees in their protest signs along with some English. These protesters make many of the people I see who live around me look and sound downright stupid. Partying is all that most US people seem to be into.

(A brief aside: Mi amigo/My friend was out today — it’s Sábado/Saturday — and he said it was very crowded out. He said that 90% of the people he saw were frozen in place like a statue and desperately looking at the phone in their hand. A couple of people were even texting so frantically as if it were their very last text in life.)

I see some phones in HK among the protesters (who are mostly young), but they use their phones as part of their protests and to make contact with each other. Then they put them away. Walking through the streets of HK, most are looking up and around, not down at some device in their hand. One protester yesterday was using her phone as sort of a sign or billboard welcoming visitors coming into the airport to HK. She was holding her phone which had huge fonts on the screen as part of her sign. She wasn’t hunched over it like a statue. At least from what I’ve seen, I don’t see the addiction to phones in HK nearly to the degree that I do in San Francisco where the phone seems to be most people’s entire life. Pathetic.

The protesters are most organised, even down to their chants in the airport where they sound like a rehearsed Chorus chanting in unison. And as of this writing, the pro-democracy protesters are launching another 3-day rally in Hong Kong at the HK International Airport to greet international visitors to The City and handing out leaflets to them, and they will be having another march through the City. (Related: Hong Kong Protesters).

I mention all of the above, in part, because I was talking with the piano major I mentioned earlier who is from Hong Kong, and she was telling me how she read one of my previous articles where I specifically mentioned this piece by Lenny Bernstein (his Sinfonie No. 3, Kaddisch) and she finds it most appropriate for these days. Yes it is, I do so agree.

Also, this week, the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra and 150-voice Symphony Chorus announced their performance schedule for the coming year. One of the pieces I noticed that they’ve programmed is Bernstein’s Sinfonie No. 3 (Kaddisch), with the Trebles of the Choir of Men and Boys from the local Anglican Cathedral assisting. It should be a splendid performance.

As I said, I mentioned this Bernstein piece recently in an article as one example of the combination of Classical Music and politics in this article from my conversations with some students in the Conservatory, and I thought I’d talk more about it.

It’s quite a piece in many ways. Even though the narration — written by Lenny Bernstein — was written decades ago, you wouldn’t know it. It could have easily been written in recent years or even recent weeks considering the current dire political climate in the non-United States and around el mundo/the world. Bernstein wrote his choral symphony, Symphony No. 3 (Kaddisch) in 1960 and then revised it a bit in 1973.

So where does one begin with this piece in describing it? Well, it’s a symphonic choral work for Orchestra, Chorus, Trebles, soprano soloist and a narrator. If you’re expecting to hear something resembling Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms (if you’re familiar with that), you won’t. It’s not like any Bernstein I’ve heard. It’s not like any Bernstein we performed when I was in major Orchestra Choruses. It’s a very difficult piece for both the Orchestra and Chorus. And it looks difficult to conduct. The conductor’s score — published by Editions Boosey & Hawkes I believe — is quite large (it’s a tall score) judging by the score on the conductor’s music stand in this performance from Frankfurt with lots of parts to read/scan quickly down the page.

Below is a performance from 2014 by my favourite Orchestra, the outstandingly superb hr-Sinfonieorchester (Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra)

Also assisting in this performance is:

Tschechischer Philharmonischer Chor Brno (The Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno). Brno is a City in the Czech Republic.
Also assisting:
Limburger Domsingknaben – The singing boys of Limburg Cathedral, or as I refer to them: The Trebles of Georgsdom/Limburg Cathedral (German Catholic, High Church, from Hesse Germany)
The Narrator: Samuel Pisar
The Soprano soloist: Pavla Vykopalová
Eliahu Inbal, conducting

The choral forces in this performance are superb. They sing with perfect intonation in all voice parts.

I noticed how intently the trebles were watching their scores throughout. They were very involved. There were no distracted boys here. Some of the boys on the front row seemed fascinated by the percussionist who was near them and to their left. Perhaps one or more of them was thinking, “I’d like to do what he’s doing; I’d like to be a percussionist one day.” Yes, that is indeed how children are inspired to go into music as a career. And these boys at their young age already know how to read advanced music scores — being the choristers at Limburg Cathedral; and I read that they sing for the High Mass — so they are way ahead of things musically-speaking for their age.

I liked the soprano soloist’s dress. It was very pretty and I enjoyed her voice when she sang in her lower register and quietly. It was lovely. But then at other times — and what is so common with soprano soloists — she resorted to what essentially was screaming, overpowering everyone on the stage. Why so loud? Even if the score says fff, it should be in balance with the other performers. When the composer wrote fff, I doubt that he meant “to be heard in the next room over” or “to be heard in the next city over” in some cases. The score doesn’t say to overpower everyone on stage. What happened to blending one’s voice with others on stage and still being tastefully heard as a solo vocalist? It’s a common problem I’ve written much about with soprano soloists, in particular. Tenor vocal soloists have a similar problem. Apparently no one ever makes these soloists aware of this problem because vocal soloists seem to be seen as sacrosanct, probably because they are hired from artist management and receiving a generous salary for their performance and are therefore seen as “experts.” And one is not supposed to question or second-guess an alleged “expert.” Good Heavens no! Wouldn’t dream of it! Therefore, it would seem that they are “off limits” from any objective criticism. It’s really a shame that some sopranos seem unable to control their voice. It speaks to their training, and I would suggest that they need additional training to work on fully controlling their voice, just as the finest choristers are required to fully control their voice at all times. Why should vocal soloists be any different?

A bit of history which you might find interesting regarding this piece:

There was a superb performance of this piece conducted by Lenny Bernstein back in 1981 in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in the District of Columbia shortly after I moved to San Francisco from the District. Reading about that performance and having sung with two of the major Orchestra Choruses in the District, I was curious which Chorus they invited for that performance. Did they invite the Choral Arts Society of Washington or the University of Maryland Chorus or the Oratorio Society of Washington? That performance was by the National Symphony Orchestra and Norman Scribner’s Choral Arts Society of Washington — their performance was described as “impeccable” in the review I read — with the trebles (boy choristers) of Washington National Cathedral (Anglican Communion) in Upper NW who were also joined by the trebles from St Mary’s Boychoir (they are from St Mary’s County in Maryland). Mezzo-soprano Claudine Carlson was vocal soloist and the narrator was Michael Wager. I had suspected that the Chorus for the NSO performance was the Choral Arts Society of Washington (CASW) since Norman and Lenny were amigos.

I read that during the performance in the Kennedy Center, Bernstein became very emotional while conducting his composition. He said he saw the ghost of the late president John K Kennedy float across the façade of the Filene Center Organ Pipes above the Choral Arts Society Chorus and that triggered a very emotional response from him. Is this a true story or did someone make this up? The reason I ask is because his composition doesn’t use the organ. And at that time — before the Concert Hall’s renovation — in the Kennedy Center, the organ pipes were not exposed if the programme didn’t include a piece that used the organ. They were covered by a wall that opened and closed like drapes if the organ was being used for the performance. I remember sitting on the Chorus risers and we in the Choral Arts Society would hear the wall behind us (up above us) slowly opening up, and I’d look over and see the organ console and I’d think to myself: Oh good, they’re using the organ for this performance. And the organ pipes were now exposed. Any other time, they were not. The wall covered them. So, if the organ was not being used for this performance, concertgoers did not see the organ pipes in other words. Therefore, how did Lenny possibly see a ghost float across the organ pipes? Was there another piece on the programme that used the organ? If so, the wall would be open exposing the pipes. That could be the case, but his piece is not scored for organ. I just wanted to point that out. I don’t know what other pieces were on that programme. Or did someone make the whole thing up having not thought it through?

Bernstein wrote the narrative text himself and had some concerns about how outspoken (or “aggressive” his word) it was, but apparently left it as it was. I’m glad he did.

A bit more history: The Norman Scribner Choir was also the choral ensemble that performed for the opening of the John F Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts ten years before (1971) in the premiere of Bernstein’s Mass. They later became the Choral Arts Society of Washington.

A little bit about The Norman Scribner Choir, that I found interesting (and I think I have this correct): Norman Scribner had recently graduated from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. He moved to the District of Columbia and began establishing himself as an accomplished musician in the District. He was involved with the music at Washington National Cathedral, and became Organist-Choirmaster at St Albans Parish (also Anglican Communion) which is next door to the Cathedral.

By now (in 1965), members of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) were familiar with Norman Scribner and they asked him to audition choristers to form a choral ensemble to perform Händel’s Messiah with the NSO. He agreed and that choral ensemble was known as The Norman Scribner Choir. Well, the choristers and audience were so enthusiastic with that performance that The Norman Scribner Choir decided to stay together. They did so for at least 6 years after that. Then, sometime after performing Bernstein’s Mass for the opening of the Kennedy Center as The Norman Scribner Choir, Norman changed the name of his choral ensemble to the Choral Arts Society of Washington (CASW) which exists today. They are one of the major Orchestra Choruses in the District performing in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. The main three Orchestra Choruses in the District these days (as of Summer 2019) are: The Choral Arts Society of Washington, The Washington Chorus and the all-student University of Maryland Concert Choir. They replaced the renowned University of Maryland Chorus when the University of Maryland’s School of Music at College Park “retired”/liquidated the UMD Chorus saying they had served their purpose.

Although as I’ve pointed out in other articles, the performance of symphonic choral works by the NSO per season has reached rock bottom levels, compared to the days when I was a chorister in the CASW. From what I saw on the NSO’s 2019-20 season, the CASW has only one engagement with the NSO (three consecutive nights) of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Norman died awhile back after he had retired from the CASW and their new Chorus Director, Scott Tucker, had taken over with Norman’s approval.

I think it depends upon the Chorus Director, but a sense of sadness must come over some/many Chorus Directors who retire and see another Chorus Director replace him or her especially someone like Norman who started the Chorus and prepared them for performances with major symphony orchestra over decades. Whereas, I sense that some other esteemed Chorus Directors — I have one in mind but I’m not going to give the person’s name — are ready to retire and leave with some resentment for orchestral management and they leave before their replacement has been named. But also, I think some Chorus Director get tired of preparing the Chorus for another conductor and often get little to no credit for all their hard work, because the musically-ignorant public think that the conductor of the performance prepared the Chorus and was entirely responsible for their (hopefully) stellar performance. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The orchestral conductor does not prepare the Chorus. The only exception to that was Robert Shaw who had both the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the ASO Chorus. In fact, the conductor has little contact with the Chorus until the dress rehearsal on stage usually. In some cases, the orchestral conductor has little contact with the Chorus Director and will make some slight changes to how the Chorus has been prepared by the Chorus Director. That happened with the Choral Arts Society of Washington when we worked with Lorin Maazel of the Cleveland Orchestra. They didn’t tour with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus so the Choral Arts Society of Washington replaced them for their Kennedy Center performances. Maazel was difficult to work with even though we were superbly prepared by Norman. As I remember, it was a matter of interpretation differences, and I came away with the impression that Maazel and Norman had not been in contact, which sometimes is the case. In some EU performances I’ve watched, the Chorus Director was never brought out on stage to have his Chorus stand for their bows. He was never acknowledged. But that’s the way that works. In all the performances I was a chorister in both in the Kennedy Center and Davies Symphony Hall, the Chorus Director (Scribner, Traver and Vance George) always came out to be acknowledged and have his Chorus be acknowledged, as it should be. And the University of Maryland Chorus was the only Chorus that actually bowed, which was always impressive to see and “wowed” the audience.

The US premiere of Bernstein’s Symphony No. 3 was by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the New England Conservatory Chorus (Lorna Cooke de Varon, Chorus Director) and conducted by Charles Munch. I don’t know which trebles they used for that performance.

As I said earlier, Lenny and Norman Scribner were close friends. Both he and Lenny were anti-war and Lenny conducted a performance of Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli/Mass in Time of War, Mass No. 10[1] in C, (H. XXII:9) up at a packed Washington National Cathedral one freezing January night. The same night, the superb University of Maryland Chorus was performing Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for Nixon’s inauguration concert. Although that event almost didn’t happen because some of the choristers of the UMD Chorus refused to go on stage because they didn’t want to perform in the presence of Richard Nixon. UMD Chorus Director, Dr Paul Traver (he was wonderful; and he’s one of my choral mentors!), was sympathetic to the Choristers anti-war beliefs, but he said the performance was about Beethoven and not Nixon. The performance went on, and I suspect their review read: “The University of Maryland Chorus was glorious throughout” since that’s what was said about them when they performed the Missa on other occasions.

Muchas gracias to hr-Sinfonieorchester and the choral forces for performing this work so superbly, and for having the courage to perform it. Because of its political message, I do indeed think that some orchestras would be afraid to programme it in that it might offend some of the delicate conservative audience, that would especially be the case in the US Midwest, I should think. But from what I could tell from the musicians’ faces, most seemed appreciative that they were having the opportunity to perform this piece. From my experience in Orchestra Choruses on both US coasts, the musicians would welcome the opportunity to perform this. It’s the conservatives in the audience who would likely have a problem with it, even to the point of walking out during the performance. Although I saw no signs of that in the Frankfurt audience. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Related:

University of Maryland Chorus (A Tribute)

University of Maryland Concert Choir performs at Carnegie Hall with NSO

What happened to the renowned University of Maryland Chorus?

BSO and the University of Maryland Concert Choir perform Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem, Op.45

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1 I was talking with mi amigo/my friend on why writing or talking about the HK protests does not make my blood pressure rise. I said: Well it doesn’t seem to affect me because the protesters/demonstrators are so intelligent and so organised in HK and creative (such as their laser light show the other night). There’s nothing to get frustrated with them, unlike here in the non-United States. There also doesn’t appear to be any partisan brainwashing like the US is thoroughly brainwashed with. Mi amigo said: The politics in the US are completely septic. From what I’ve seen of the HK protests, they would never allow protesters to take over the airport in a major city in the US. They’d never allow that at SFO (San Francisco International Airport). They’d call in the military to deal with the protesters. They’d never let the protesters shut down BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) or the Muni Metro (San Francisco’s Metro/subway system), which is separate from BART. And most people on the Metro and in today’s San Francisco would likely start complaining about the protesters and how the protesters are “inconveniencing me,” rather than side with them. That’s the mentality here today in the US. It’s a very different culture there in HK, unlike the fascist US where none of what we’ve seen in HK would be allowed here for any length of time. The Occupy Movement learned that rather quickly. They were similar to HK, but they were destroyed by and had their skulls cracked by “Mr Hope and Change We Can Believe In,” the Obama regime. And it’s only going to get worse in the US under the current fascist regime and white supremacist White House occupant.

Update 16 August 2019: Not a good sign. Around the same time that he said he wanted to buy Greenland (for his own personal financial interests) — and Danmark said Greenland is not for sale! — the current White House occupant has been sticking his nose in the Hong Kong situation recently. China has essentially told him to mind his own business. Every day he’s sticking his nose in somebody’s business with endless sanctions, bullying and the usual that comes from this dysfunctional septic despot. The only interests he would have in Hong Kong is for his own financial gain as in real estate purchases, more Tr*mp Towers or golf courses. My concern is what one of the protesters said on camera: He said something to the effect that he was hoping that the pro-democracy movement in HK could get help from the current White House occupant — BAD IDEA, especially considering he’s not for democracy — even to the point of him visiting HK and speaking to the demonstrators. Loco./Crazy. Bad idea. I have questioned a few times why I’ve seen a couple of US flags in the demonstrations, and on today’s coverage the US flag was even more prominent. What is with that? I read on another site — not at the link below — that this movement in HK is really CIA-funded and US-backed. If that’s the case, no good will come out of this. The thing is, the non-United States has no interest in democracy in its own country. So why would they care about democracy in HK? Only for their financial gain. What the non-United States calls “democracy” is just marketing language for exploiting other people around the world for their national resources, et al. so that corrupt US politicians from both political cults (D and R) can increase their personal and financial gain. Unfortunately, some people never learn from history.

Then there was a counter-rally in HK in support of Beijing. One of those protesters said on camera “Why should we have democracy? They don’t have democracy in Beijing and their economy is really good. (To him it was all about $$$$$$$; another stupid Millennial).” To him, democracy is a bad thing. Yet he wouldn’t be allowed to express his views openly in Beijing as he just did in Hong Kong, would he? Did he not consider that? Another protesters said that “everybody knows that the US is behind the pro-democracy movement here in HK.” Perhaps they think that, but do they not know that the US couldn’t care less about democracy anywhere? The US uses the word “democracy” the same way they use the word “freedom” and other empty rhetoric. It’s just meaningless marketing language for US Imperialism and World Domination and for the stealing of other nation’s natural resources. To bully and police other nations and the world on a daily basis. Sticking their arrogant nose in everybody’s business. Anything that will benefit the financial interests of the US. That’s the bottom line. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Update el 8 de septiembre de 2019/8 September 2019: Insanity. Really sorry to see this. Thousands in Hong Kong are now calling on the demented White House occupant to help them. They’re carrying US flags and looked like they were handing out pictures of the White House occupant and members of his cabinet, the few that are still there. I thought these protesters were better educated than this. Do they not know that anything the US touches turns out badly? And “democracy” and “freedom” are nothing but pretty code language for US imperialism worldwide? Where do people get the ridiculous idea that we’re some kind of saviour? How exactly can the occupant and his regime help in this matter? By going against Beijing and the HK government? Yeah that will really turn out well. I was very sorry to see this because it seems that some of these protesters don’t have any clue as to the history of the US and its barbaric actions internationally. And it should be pointed out that the WH occupant campaigned as a “non-interventionist” which of course was a lie because he’s been sticking his nose in other people’s business and “intervening” around the world in government’s business since he walked in the White House since he lives with delusions that he’s the rule of the world, above any and all laws, as well as The Holy and Indivisible Trinity. Nothing good would come out of the US “helping” Hong Kong. Ludicrous. Chau.

Related: Hong Kong Free Press: US Flag Appeared at recent Hong Kong Demonstrations

Conservatory students concerned about US civil war, US mass shootings.

Hola a todos. It might come as a surprise to some that music students have political views. Yes, despite their very busy schedules in a Conservatory, some do try to keep up with what’s going on in the world, as least to some degree. Politics and music have gone hand-in-hand with many composers and performers. There are too many pieces to name where music and politics are intertwined, directly connected. But we wouldn’t have pieces such as Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli/Mass in Time of War, Mass No. 10[1] in C, (H. XXII:9) also known as the Paukenmesse if music and politics were not interconnected within composers. Music scholars have long thought the piece to be of an anti-war nature. Nor would we have Lenny Bernstein’s choral symphony, Symphony No. 3 “Kaddisch”. If you aren’t familiar with the piece, the text is most politically appropriate for these days even though the text was written back in 1963 and he made some revisions to it in 1973. Nor would we have Benjamin Britten’s The War Requiem, Op. 66 to name three major works off the top of my head, if musicians had taken a denial approach that politics and music have nothing to do with each other and should not be mixed, giving the impression that musicians are void of political views. But that’s not realistic. The conservative Classical Music snots often like to live in denial and divorce any politics from music. They are easily offended by this, failing to understand that one is not getting a true story, a genuine picture of the music of the day they’re listening to and what was going on en el mundo/in the world or around them at that time.

I walked into the Conservatory yesterday afternoon (el 4 de agosto de 2019/4 August 2019) and a group of students were out in the hallway talking quietly among themselves, taking a brief break from their practise time. They were huddled talking about the two most recent mass shootings here in the non-United States. I listened to what they were saying. They spoke of their increasing concern about a civil war here in the nation which is brewing, with an increasing number of mass shootings. The mass shootings have become a common septic symptom of US culture, so common that they’re often not even reported online in the US media. The thinking seems to be: “Oh it’s just another shooting. Why report that? They’re nearly an every day occurrence.” One has to go to international media to see any coverage about them. When there are two mass shootings back-to-back that stirs more attention in the non-United States. Then out comes the perfunctory, expected and predictable talk of “thoughts and prayers” from septic career politicians. Shove your “thoughts and prayers.” Several of the Conservatory students mentioned the current White House occupant, whom they clearly despise, and find him directly responsible, which of course he is due to the political climate of hate he has set as well as the basura around him.

The Conservatory students saw me walk in — we all know each other and they read my site — and they asked me what I was thinking about all this. I said: Oh that’s okay, I don’t need to give my opinion. This is connected with politics and I avoid that topic because it raises my blood pressure to an unhealthy level. They said: Well can you give us something short, that should be all right, it doesn’t have to be long. So since they insisted, the following pretty much sums of what I told the group. At the end, they said: You should post that on your site; you made some excellent points. (Gracias to them). I agreed to post it for others to read, so here it is, as best as I remember what I said:

I started out by saying that I had read what the current White House occupant had said after the El Paso TX shooting and I wanted to speak to this glib cliché that I constantly hear from (conservative) politicians. Any act of violence that politicians are not responsible for themselves they call, “an act of cowardice.” I heard former British Prime Minister Theresa May repeatedly speak those words (“an act of cowardice”) as well as French President Emmanuel Macron following various so-called “terrrrrrrist” attacks. I think May and Macron got this language from the current White House occupant. The current White House occupant mindlessly repeats the same pabulum as does all other basura politicians by calling the mass shooting “an act of cowardice.” That’s complete rubbish, just like the person who made the comment. The fact is: It takes a lot of courage to plan and go out and shoot and kill 20 people in El Paso Texas. Then another person killed 9 people in Dayton OH within 24 hours of the first shooting spree, as two examples of mass shootings. There’s nothing “cowardice” about that at all. The true coward is sitting en la casa blanca/in the White House living in his usual Denial as an enabler and accomplice of the National Rifle Association (NRA). The true coward hid behind bullet-proof glass on the Mall in the District of Columbia the evening of 4 July 2019 as he was rattling on about “freedom.” Bullet-proof glass and “freedom” don’t go together. They are a glaring contradiction. If we truly had “freedom” and any other fake-patriotism and fake-nationalism that he was rattling on about, he wouldn’t have insisted that he speak behind bullet-proof glass. What’s “Mr Freedom” afraid of? I guess his insipid speech writers didn’t think that through. If only these political basura possessed any critical thinking skills whatsoever to think things through before they speak, they wouldn’t make such stupid remarks about these heinous mass shooting events, some of which are caused by their own rabid white supremacist supporters. Let’s tell it like it is: If one really insists on talking about cowards and cowardice, one should look inward at the most delicate, fragile, narcissistic, cowardice personality and approach that said politician takes to stringent gun control in the non-United States. That’s the coward right there. Such political basura has one’s head in the upper colon of the NRA.

The current White House occupant said: “Hate has no place in our country?” Since when? You’re the role model for hate.

The current White House occupant is incapable of shame or even human feelings. He’s a cold, empty, self-entitled and self-absorbed angry vessel with an occasional forced-fake smile. One wonders went he underwent a lobotomy. There’s nothing he doesn’t think he’s an expert on. He’s one big hypocrite. A disgrace to the office he’s currently residing in. He deserves no respect and has earned no respect whatsoever. And he, with his dysfunctional personality, wants a fight with the entire world. He is a corporate parasite of the very swamp he claimed he wanted to drain, and has only added to said swamp. His most recent example of hypocrisy is that following these two mass shootings, he said that, “Hate has no place in our country, and we will take care of it.” What does that pabulum mean? More empty words. Just like “Thoughts and Prayers.” More hypocrisy! This man-child spews hate on a daily basis — especially at his cult rallies — to feed his white supremacist cultist base, giving them his signature “white power” hand gesture whenever he speaks.

One should expect more of this. I do. And one should expect the current White House occupant to receive a second term some way or the other — and like everything else he does it won’t come legally and yet nothing will be done about it; he’s above the law despite what they say to the contrary — with the help of Democratic Party enablers, including Nancy “he’s not worth it” Pelosi and others. From what I’ve read, it’s all about Pelosi’s “majority” in the House, that’s all that woman is concerned about. In reality, it’s a “majority” that serves as enablers for the White House occupant. In fact, they were his strongest enablers on the recent war budget that passed in the House, and later in the Senate with the enabling of the Democrats as well — including the Democratic Party presidential candidates who didn’t bother to show up to vote on this critical bill (Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker did not vote; they were too busy running for another job and not doing their job as senators) — giving the Pentagon a record $738 Billion USD for fiscal year 2020.

The Conservatory students said they were glad that I had picked up on the “an act of cowardice” cliché as they had similar thoughts about that. They gave me a nice applause after I spoke. That was a first for me. I wonder what my blood pressure reading was at that point? But muchas gracias to them. Chau.—el barrio rosa

UPDATE: The White House occupant “addressed the nation” on the two most recent shootings (TX and OH). Aren’t we fortunate to hear his words of wisdom? [sarcasm intended]. I changed the channel on my television when he showed up just as I did when Obama appeared. I later read what the current White House occupant said. Most of it was drivel, basura, as expected. One thing I noticed: He’s playing word games to his cultist base to pacify the NRA. He said it’s the “trigger” and not the gun that caused the shooting deaths in TX and OH. Does he not know that the trigger is on the gun? He can’t bring his useless self to say anything negative about guns, so he stoops to the level of reducing things to the trigger rather than guns. As he came out to speak, the second-in-line White House occupant followed him and took the position — as he always does — of trying to look intimidating or like The Hulk with this chest stuck out (in that menacing black suit), arms straight down but not in a resting position the way “normal” human beings usually stand who are not trying to puff themselves up and look threatening or like Mr Tough Guy — and he stood there with his usual lobotomised, “nobody is home” emotionless facial expression. For anyone who is concerned about The Hulk replacing the current White House resident upon his impeachment (impeachment is not going to happen because Nancy Pelosi thinks she personally owns the US Constitution), I would like to remind people that The Hulk is already in power. He’s the most visible second-in-line guy I’ve seen. He frequently appears either with the current White House occupant or alone. He’s already running things. It’s as if we have two people in one position. Chau.—el barrio rosa

UPDATE: So the White House occupant is going to El Paso on 7 August 2019. Why? For camera time, for photo-ops, for attention to feed his narcissistic personality. The fact is: He couldn’t care less about any of the people who were killed or injured or their families or amigos. He didn’t know any of these people, and even if he did he has no ability to show sympathy or empathy. It’s always all about him and I can predict that he will make this visit all about him. There is no need for any politician — especially this one — to go “visit” the town or city where a mass shooting takes place. If any contact needs to be made, he can pick up the phone and or e-mail the mayor of the locality. But that doesn’t give this political basura camera time to show more “white power” hand gestures, therefore, waste more fuel going down to Texas to feed his enormous ego and create more problems and insult even more people while he’s down there. He’s blanco basura (slang form). Chau.—el barrio rosa

She comes out half-naked. What if a guy did the same?

Using female soft porn to try to sell and save the dying Classical Music tradition with its greying audience, and apparently many females today don’t mind being seen as a sex object.

Hola a todos. You might be wondering, “Who’s that cocktail pianist sitting at the Steinway & Sons grand piano below in that skimpy green dress?”

https://proxy.duckduckgo.com/iu/?u=https%3A%2F%2Fstatic.businessinsider.com%2Fimage%2F4f83511f69bedd0e45000074-250.jpg&f=1

Well, she’s not a cocktail pianist and I suspect she would resent being called that, although one might get the impression that’s what she is. What she’s wearing is her performance attire for when she plays the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in b flat minor, Op. 23, for example. You might be asking: She wears that when she performs with a major symphony orchestra? Yes, she does indeed. That dress looks a bit constricting to perform in, especially something like a demanding piano concerto. As a pianist, I prefer roomier clothes for performing in. Although considering there’s very little dress there, there would seem to be little chance of her getting over-heated, unless her name is Rose. Rose gets over-heated. But no, this pianist’s name is not Rose. This female is a concert artist in the Classical Music field, and apparently she and or her concert management think it’s a good idea to use soft porn to try to market her as a sex object in an attempt to save the slowly dying Classical Music field and her related performances. It would also appear that the now-dead feminist movement had little to no bearing on the Classical Music field’s sexist traditions. This is a type of sexist marketing gimmick and apparently any controversy over her — meaning the sexed-up/sex object way she’s dressed for a performance — is seen as a positive thing by her artist management because the bottom line is that it gives her attention, or that’s the impression one gets. My guess is that this gimmick is coming from artist management in collaboration with the artist.

This “sex her up” marketing gimmick doesn’t seem to be drawing in the crowds since many orchestras especially in the non-United States are programming anything but time-honoured classical repertoire as audiences decline. They’re programming a lot of “fluff” stuff instead for the sheeple. I wrote about that in this article: We’re Down to The Big Three. In the case of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), one wonders how much longer they will be around. BSO management cancelled the Orchestra’s 2019 Summer Season.

You know why this is happening, don’t you? In part, it’s happening because there’s little to no music and arts programmes in the US public schools any more for students to be exposed to Classical Music. To give a more complete picture of the state of things one needs to look at funding: Most recently as of this writing, the “Democrats” and Republicans in the US Congress are pouring a record amount of dinero/money into the bottomless pit known as the Pentagon, at the request of Mr Non-Interventionist Interventionist (the current White House occupant). Yes, the so-called “Democrats” in the House of Representatives in the US Congress the week of 21 July 2019 voted in the majority — including White House-enabler Nancy Pelosi and fake-progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — to give the current White House occupant his requested $1.74 TRILLION dollars budget, most of that for the US Military Industrial Complex Killing Machine. Also, half of what’s known as “The (Progressive) Squad” — which consists of four non-White females that the White House occupant has trolled-bullied in recent weeks — in the House of Representatives voted for this obscene bill. So it has become apparent that two members of “The Squad” are fake-progressives. I was suspect of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from the beginning especially after she started snuggling up with the White House occupant’s main enabler, Nancy “He’s not worth impeachment” Pelosi. Then, in 2020, after he gets back in one way or the other for a second term, Nancy “he’s not worth it” Pelosi will say, “As I said during his first term, there will be no impeachment hearings. I own the US Constitution. The voters — who vote on a corrupt system — have now spoken and they want him to have a second term, and perhaps more. (Several times he’s talked about not leaving after a second term). And to be quite honest, I look forward to working with him for another four years-plus. He’s really quite a nice guy. We get along splendidly although I try not to show that on camera so that my gullible and partisan-brainwashed voters in San Francisco will continue to vote for me in lockstep of around 78% of the vote each ‘election’ cycle based on my name-recognition.” These “Democratic” corporatist basura in the House of Representatives couldn’t find it within themselves to put $1-2 billion into music education in the US public schools? Good heaven’s no! Wouldn’t dream of! The non-United States is not that type of nation. Then, when that budget bill reached the Senate, the “Democrats” led the passage of the budget in the Senate that includes a record $738 billion for the military. The budget was an agreement between White House enabler-Pelosi and the current White House occupant, reflecting so-called bipartisan support for the US Empire War Machine. It’s interesting most hypocritical that the current White House occupant campaigned on being a non-interventionist, yet every day he’s intervening, bullying, intervening, policing, intervening, and sticking his nose in someone else’s business around the planet. Senate Democrats gave far more support to the White House occupant’s and Pelosi’s budget than Republicans, voting for it by 38-5, with four absent. Why were they absent? Republicans divided much more closely, 30 in favour of and 23 against, and one absent. Republicans were not opposed to the record spending on the military but objected to the level of spending for domestic social programmes and the overall deficit. If the “Democrats” had voted against the budget by any large margin, the budget would have been defeated. In reality, the “Democrats” are the current White House occupant’s biggest enablers.

Also, there really should be a law that’s adhered to that says that any Senator or Representative must be present for all votes in the Senate or House, respectively. When they’re out campaigning for another job/office they’re not doing their job as a Senator or Representative. Why did Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, as two examples, run for the Senate when obviously neither really didn’t want to be senators since they are both relatively new to their 6-year term in the Senate, and are already running for another office? At least Harris and Booker have legal training and a law degree (Juris Doctorate) as opposed to Dianne Feinstein who comes with no legal training and with her Bachelor of Arts degree in a completely unrelated field. Nancy Pelosi also has no legal training and no law degree. Her Bachelor of Arts is in Political Science. Related: Representatives and Senators in the US Congress should have law degrees. How can one be called a “lawmaker” and be making laws for a nation without a law degree or any legal training? Making laws with a Bachelor of Arts degree. That’s insane. In any other job that I can think of, the person has to come with some background or training — highest educational background — in that area of specialty that they’re applying for. But with these “lawmakers” there’s no requirements other than an age requirement and being a US citizen. What pathetically lame requirements. The same for the White House occupant. Any piece of wealthy trash can run for that office, and they have!; see the current state of affairs. No wonder we’re in such a dismal situation with these basura running things. There should be a law that is adhered to that a senator has to complete one six-year term before openly gallivanting around running for another office. So, of the seven “Democratic” senators running for president in 2020, four of them did not bother to show up to vote on the budget bill I mentioned earlier, including Bernie Sanders, who said during one of the “Democratic” Party so-called debates that he would vote against the record military budget. That was a lie because he didn’t even show up to cast his vote on that. He was out campaigning, not doing his job in the Senate. Neither did Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Cory Booker. Three “Democratic” presidential candidates did return to the US Capital building on Capital Hill in the District of Columbia to vote. One of them, Kirsten Gillibrand, voted for the war budget. Does she pretend to be a “progressive?” Michael Bennet and Amy Klobuchar voted against it. Again, clearly, the “Democrats” are the current White House occupant’s biggest enablers.

I should point out that genuine progressives do not vote for war, death and killing funding or for funding for concentration camps at la frontera/the border between los Estados Unidos y México/between the United States and México.

But this lack of music education in US public schools and lack of funding at the US federal level — as I pointed out in the paragraph above — is also why the Classical Music field has such a lack of diversity within because when people of all ethnic backgrounds are not exposed to something, they can’t possibly acquire an interest in it or cultivate some hidden talents they have. For example, Baltimore’s majority population is Black. Yet the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has only ONE Black musician. As I’ve written before: If most people spent as much time practising a musical instrument that they really like and enjoy as they do wasting their life away “practising” their phone (the world’s #1 distraction devise), we’d have a remarkably different society. (Related: Diversity critical to survival of classical music field).

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But back to this concert attire I was talking about, which is mainly the topic of this article. As for the pianist sitting over here on the right wearing — what little there is of — a white dress, give the thing a glance and tell me she isn’t revved up for sex? Boobs stuck out as far as possible. With her back firmly arched where she has to hold on to the piano bench with her right hand, can she stick her chest out any more? The woman seems to be absolutely obsessed with her chest. What is she aiming for with those protruded breasts? Is she trying to push her breasts into the next room? Imagine if a male pianist was sitting there without a shirt on with his chest stuck out? But we’re not likely to see that are we? No.

We were having a conversation the other day in the Conservatory about this topic, this double standard, this hypocrisy regarding the sexism involved in concert performance attire for female soloists (vocal and instrumental) in Classical Music performances.

I asked some of the students: Have you noticed that most female soloists come out on stage with bare shoulders, bare arms, deep cleavage and bare breasts showing (except for the ever-feared and forbidden nipple that humans aren’t supposed to see according to the prudes)? These females make sure that most of their upper body is naked or exposed. Why? Why are females so obsessed with their upper body? At this point, I guess we need a nudity ban for the Concert Hall stage, no?

What is with this bare upper body thing that many females have?

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Yet if a guy did the same thing, he would probably be jeered off the stage and told he was under-dressed inappropriately and told to go home and change appropriately in a conservative suit or tux. This is such a double-standard.

And is the non-diverse “greying audience” (as it’s known) really into soft porn when they’re there for a performance? Not that I can tell. The “greying audience” is generally more conservative, I think. (Although I do see a bit more diversity in the audience in Frankfurt; quite a few Asians enjoy the superb hr-Sinfonieorchester – Frankfurt Radio Symphony).

But my sense is that the “greying audience” would not necessarily appreciate this half-naked cheap marketing gimmick and would see it for what it is and ask: “Who is she trying to bait here being up there on the stage half-naked and boobs nearly fully exposed and the entire back missing from her dress? What’s wrong with her? Is she here for sex or for a musical performance?” Perhaps both.

One does wonders, at this rate of willing sexual exploitation of an artist, will some female artist — perhaps one or more of the females pictured on this page — be offering a strip-tease show, pole dancing and oral sex between the movements of a concerto in the future? Well, if it sells tickets I suppose we can expect that too, no? But again, I don’t see audiences drawn to this gimmick, other than some young males (based on their U-toob comments) and those guys wouldn’t be there in the Concert Hall in the first place. Or, for an exorbitantly priced concert ticket (and seats are limited!), these females willing to be exploited might offer a “A Special Night” (oooooooh, steamy, that’s hot!) after the performance for those who want to go to the Green Room for “An Erotic Night With the Artist” along with the current White House occupant as he repeatedly forces himself onto her with kisses and repeated puzzy grabbing. He will also announce which person or group in the world will be the subject of his juvenile taunting, bullying and intervening for the day.” The additional promotion for this event in the Green Room will likely read: “You’ll see it all as she sits and lies in various provocative positions on top of a grand piano. Order now because seats are limited!” This could likely be the graphic for the promotion:

I found this. It’s presumably a promotion for a performance of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C, Op. 15

Image result for Khatia Buniatishvili

 

Now that’s tacky. No one should be sitting on or sprawled-out on a piano. There doesn’t seem to be any standards now. That’s what happens when one plays to the lowest common denominator.

This soft porn scheme doesn’t seem to be attracting young people to the audience based on the audiences I see in performances. The thing is: Young people can see reams and reams of “pretty girls” on their phones without having to pay for an expensive concert ticket just to go hear a piano concerto that they have absolutely no interest in just to see one “pretty girl play the piano” half-naked.

Nudity is not the topic. The double-standard is: the inequality between the genders in performance attire.

To be clear, I have no problem with nudity and seeing the human body. We were all born nude. I opposed San Francisco’s City-Wide Nudity Ban — and I strongly supported the few (it was about 4 at any given time) naked guys who walked around San Francisco’s Castro occasionally at that time, in part, because The Castro had a long history of nudity on occasion — when that ban was needlessly installed by a disgusting conservative gay political opportunistic prude who moved here from New Jersey to appeal to his conservative San Francisco base, including what had become the conservative so-called “gay community.” I watched in disgust as many conservative queers bullied, made fun of and hated on the naked guys.

And nudity and seeing the human body is not the point of this article.

The point of this article is to talk about the sexism and male chauvinism in the Classical Music field.

There is such a glaring double-standard when it comes to concert attire and other duplicitous traditions of the field for that matter. I’ve previously written about many of them. This hypocrisy is often promoted by the group I refer to as the Classical Music Snots, who so often ruin Classical Music for a lot of people. They are most often conservative prudes and self-appointed know-it-all authorities, wannabe musicians, and nit-picking armchair critics. I can’t stand them, the basura.

I saw a performance recently featuring a Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (the Chorus was superb) and trebles (boy choristers). The soprano soloist was barely wearing anything over her chest other than to cover up her nipples, and the trebles who were part of this performance were sitting up above her in the tiers. I looked at the trebles as she was on the stage and not a one of them were looking at her. In other words, the trebles/boys were not phased by seeing what was essentially a naked female. Yet the prudes among us in San Francisco and elsewhere — any other time — would have screamed “WHAT ABOUT THE CHILDREN?!!!!” She can’t be on stage like that. Cover her up. Children are not supposed to be exposed to nudity.”

Bottom Line: Children are being used as the excuse for immature adults who have a problem with nudity and seeing the human body, perhaps even their own. Many of these people would likely say that their Christian deity created the human body. Really? So you’re saying that “he” created something “bad” and “off-putting” and that human eyes should not see? I suspect these basura have never thought about that. Critical thinking skills are not their strong point. The same people have no problem with “the children” seeing any violent programming on television or anywhere else that comes along. Violence seems to be perfectly acceptable to these conservative trash. Violence is good for children to see, but seeing the human body/two nipples that their “lord and saviour” allegedly created is not good. That’s the thinking of the conservative prudes. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? [sarcasm intended].

In reality, it’s not the children who have a problem with nudity, not that they even noticed, which again, none of the boys did in that performance I watched. It’s the adult children — the adult prudes — the children in adult bodies who have never matured to adulthood regardless of their chronological age and who have body image issues, and have a problem with seeing the human body.

I couldn’t help but think about this topic when I saw this performance from the EU. And yes I know that some Europeans take a more mature approach to nudity than the puritanical, prudish and ultra-conservative non-United States. But there are some prudes in the EU. I’m well aware of that. One example: They whinge about the urinals on the streets in Paris that guys use. Well, some of the guys likely have BPH and need to urinate frequently which these urinals help them with. Good. But the female prudes scream (who often become prudes the moment they become a parent), “But that urinal is at the eye level of my child.” So? Your child has never seen a penis before perra, including his own penis? Well, s/he will definitely be in for a shock one day at this rate with you as a parent. Some people really should not be parents because they lack the maturity to be a good parent, often merely passing along bad generational prudish and outdated conservative parenting methods, the way they were parented. I’ve also seen many people become absolute prudes the moment they became a parent, forgetting their own past.

Apparently some orchestras are not prepared for these sexed-up performances because I’ve seen some covert disapproving looks among musicians when the half-naked female artists come on stage as if the orchestral musicians were asking, “WTF is she wearing?” when the artist arrives at the piano or near the podium? “That’s what she wears for a performance or does she have some hot date afterwards?”

I’ve watched countless performances where the female soloist(s) comes out half naked in some low-cut or extremely low-cut gown, or the top half essentially gone. She almost looks like a mermaid in that particular style of dress she’s wearing as the lower half is this tight fabric that wraps around her and cleans the stage floor as she walks. Why doesn’t she order a bit shorter gown or is the intent to have the gown drag on the stage as she shuffles in that tight get-up from the stage door to her chair and back? You’ve probably seen the “look” I’m talking about. This is not the image I had in mind, I can’t find that particular gown for some reason, but this will do for now as an example right here.

These females come out wearing barely anything at all that covers her top half (along as no nipples are showing because we all know how dreadful it is to see a human being’s nipples, don’t we? And no one has ever seen a human nipple before, correct?). She’s struts out or shuffles out showing deep cleavage and is “sexed-up.” I think that’s the intent of this silly phenomenon.

In piano concerto performances where the female piano artist wears a get-up like the female pictured above, the comments under the video performance usually lead to the juvenile male commenters — with their high school jock mentality who never matured — to write such comments as, “I’d like to do her” and “look at those boobs, look at those legs” and other comments of that nature. As well as the occasional, “Will you marry me?” where a male commenter is presuming the sexual orientation of the female pianist whom he knows absolutely nothing about. No comment is made about her performance of course. Such sexual comments are never written about male classical performers.

Then the male soloists come out on stage all covered up like a monk from head to toe. Can you imagine the looks that a male soloist would get if he came out wearing an upscale tank top or something barely covering his chest like these females do? Or a dress shirt unbuttoned so that he looks “sexed up?” Even if his “off-putting” nipples were not showing! Gasp! No, the male performers must be covered up so that not any “skin” is showing other than his face and hands, and possibly his neck.

Male performers are really at a disadvantage here because they’re not allowed to be half naked and “sexed up.” But clearly females are allowed to look like floozies and like “Ladies of the Night” and that’s perfectly acceptable, it seems.

And then some of the female artists do an outdated, subservient sexist curtsy to the audience rather than bow the way all the other performers do. I think females who curtsy to the audience do so thinking that it will generate more applause for them. “Well if my performance doesn’t get much applause or as much as I think it should, maybe my subservient curtsy will!” Could someone remind me what the feminist movement accomplished when it was active?

The burning question here is: Why is a male’s chest so off-putting to people, or the male body in general for that matter? A female’s chest is apparently appealing just because her breasts protrude out and a guy’s breasts don’t. That makes a difference to people? Yes is the answer to that question. Well, it’s how our society has been brainwashed with body image issues. That’s what it amounts to.

I’m not the first person to notice this “sexed up” gimmick. Here’s an article about this fad written back in 2017 by Aliette de Laleu. She is a journalist on the radio station France Musique. Her article appears on the ClassicFM website. ClassicFM is in the UK:

Should female musicians be allowed to dress how they want?

A conductor has noticed how many females are dressing for performances. (How could they not notice?) Unfortunately, in Aliette de Laleu’s article, she makes no comparison to the fact that guys are not allowed to dress “half naked” or however they want.

From her article:

“Aliette argues that while opera stars and performers wear brightly coloured clothing to bring drama to their performance, orchestral musicians and instrumentalists are restricted to dark colours and ‘non-distracting’ clothes.”

Ms de Laleu also said in her article that if you don’t like seeing the female pianist — half naked — to “close your eyes.” I would like to point out to her that one does not pay a lot of money for a concert ticket to a performance to sit there with one’s eyes closed, understood? One might as well be sitting at home listening to a CD if you’re going to be sitting in a Concert Hall with your eyes closed. What a dense thing to say. What is wrong with the woman?! It’s fine if she wants to stoop to the level of defending this cheap marketing gimmick, but please engage at least the most basic of critical thinking skills rather than make some glib “close your eyes” remark.

And I don’t find it “distracting” per se. That’s not the word I would use. I’m not into looking at half-naked females playing a piano concerto or serving as a vocal soloist-screamer showing mammary glands, if a guy cannot wear a tank top or no shirt all, which is what it amounts to. Why can’t a guy show his mammary glands? After all, what is equal for females should be equal for guys and vice versa.

For those who might say from a position of willful-ignorance, “Oh come now, guys don’t have mammary glands.” FYI: “All male and female mammals have mammary glands, which is the organ that produces milk. When mammary glands mature fully in females during puberty, they develop into a state where a hormonal spike — most notably of prolactin — can easily induce lactation. For males, the gland generally doesn’t mature to that level.

Here’s an example of the forbidden male body (flute soloist below) all covered up in ubiquitous and drab black and grey. Yet the “sexed-up” piano accompanist can look like she’s already for bed, or something:

Image result for Khatia Buniatishvili

Tuxes — which fortunately the flautist pictured above is not wearing — are so “last year,” stuffy and hot. And predictable. So tiresome. Now if it were a hot guy (meaning my type) wearing a tank top or an open and pretty dress shirt or less, and cargo shorts or even a Speedo, I’ll be glad to watch him play the same concerto. I’d prefer he be dressed like that. Casually in other words. But of course we’re not likely to see that EVER. And again, I’m not sure who came up with this new half-naked fad, whether it was the artist or the artist management. I can sort of suspect that it was the desperate artist management who said to the artist: “You know, you’ll sell a lot more tickets and be much more controversial if you dress as we’re suggesting: Half naked. So sex-up your performance. You might want to consider having a boob job as well. Why don’t you consider enlarging your breasts to fit a bra size of a Triple Z? Think about it.”

Oh that’s another thing: I’ve noticed when a small group picture of musicians is taken with arms around each other, that the guy standing next to a nearly-naked female doesn’t seem to know where to put his hand or arm on her. It’s as if his brain tells him, “Don’t touch her bare skin on her arm or chest with your hand. That could give her a wrong message. Put your arm down near her waist where some fabric is, what little there is.”

Or take that female in that black 2-strap thing in the video I’ve linked to above from ClassicFM. Is she excessively warm sitting there in that studio? Is that why she’s wearing this low-cut black thing showing bare shoulders and chest? Again, what is it with females that they feel it’s all about their chest and boobs that they must constantly show, that they can legally get by with showing without getting arrested for nudity? I don’t quite understand some female’s obsession and fixation with their chest and arms. Their upper body in other words.

Image result for Khatia Buniatishvili

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of this writing, I’ve been unable to find that wrap-around evening gown I was talking about earlier. I don’t know what it’s called, but nothing comes up with anyone wearing it. It must not be that popular although I’ve seen women wear it in performances. They almost look like a mermaid, but that’s not the name of it apparently.

Fortunately, I’ve not seen any female conductors wearing these get-ups. They don’t try to “sex up” their conducting performances by “showing skin.” They allow their musicianship to be the selling criteria. But with these half-naked females, it’s as if they’re saying, “Well, if I can’t wow them with my performance, maybe I’ll wow them by showing as much skin as legally allowed, without getting arrested for ‘indecency.’”

Then you have Ms Boobs here as the guys are performing covered up from head to toe in conservative stuffy tuxes:

Image result for Khatia Buniatishvili

I think I would feel a bit self-conscious wearing something like that for a performance. I’m hesitant to wear anything colourful in San Francisco today because of the nasty, disapproving looks I get because I’m not conforming by wearing black and grey like everyone else here, the sheeple. Mi amigo/My friend tells me the same. He wears tie-dye on occasion and he said you wouldn’t believe the stares and glares he gets of disapproval when he wears any colour. San Francisco is such a different (and conservative) City now than the Old City that we were known for around the world. When he wears black and grey, he gets no stares. So I can’t imagine what it would feel like to wear a dress like she’s wearing for a performance with boobs fully exposed. I think I would have trouble keeping my mind on my performance. But apparently she and her boobs adore the attention. I guess she does a deep bow at the end of her performance so that those in the Orchestra seating can get a good view, since they paid a higher ticket cost. Hopefully her boobs don’t fall out, although upon reflection, when a female puts that much work into them, one would think that she does hope they fall out, no? She might say: “These things help me sell tickets.” To which I would ask: Really? Why is that, when people can see them for free online? Or do you allow concert-goers to touch them when they greet you after the performance as they’re talking with you but staring down at your boobs?

And again — this cannot be overstated — I wouldn’t have any problem with this if the guys were allowed the same freedom to dress as they want. But the reality is that they’re not. The guys are supposed to look very drab and conservative.

And before someone says, “All those guys in the Orchestra must be distracted by her boobs. It must turn them on while they’re trying to play their instruments.” No, No, No. Please! Stop it! Stop your ignorance! One should make no assumptions about the sexual orientation of the orchestral musicians. Do not make the usual heteronormative mistake and assume that all musicians are straight/heterosexual just because you may be. They’re not. So no, the queer/gay male musicians in the Orchestra would have no interest in this woman’s boobs or anything else about her other than her music, and there are many gay musicians in orchestras and throughout The Arts in general. I feel the need to say this because I get so tired of people making baseless heteronormative comments and baseless assumptions about people’s sexuality when they know absolutely nothing about them. I won’t have it!

Or take this example.  If she can come out looking like this:Related image

Then why can’t a guy dress like this guy immediately below?  At least his forbidden mammary glands are completely covered. Yes, you have to watch those mammary glands because our prudish society has a terrible time with mammary glands. But again, they will tell you that their god created them. Hmmmmm. So, what they’re saying is that your god created something bad that one should not look at? I guess they’ve never thought of that.

http://www.internationaljock.com/v3/prld.xlg?partno=51602&width=498&view=img1

If females are allowed to wear the skimpy get-ups they wear, why can’t a guy wear this?:

Leo Torso Toner Tank 035000 - Free Shipping at Freshpair.com

Or this:

Aliexpress.com : Buy Men Tank Tops Men Vest Stringer Singlet Bodybuilding Clothing Fitness ...

Or even this version:

Style 725 - Men's Y-Back Stringer Tank Top. Original Men's Y back tank tops made for ...

Or maybe this:

Image result for Rufskin style SL5796

This example below implies that the requirement for female pianists is this top-naked look, although that dress sort of looks like a white wedding dress at the bottom, doesn’t it?:

Top 50 Best Classical Piano Music Vol.2 - YouTube

I do not know what it is about boobs and classical music. That escapes me.

I’m well aware that in the pop music culture in the non-United States that they use anything — no matter how tacky and dumbed-down it is — to “sell” the “product” (meaning the female singer) to the audience. And I think the male performers in the pop music culture have to be all covered up just like they are in the Classical Music field. I was noticing that when I was watching Univisión and Telemundo. I even commented on how the Latino artists used to perform in unbuttoned shirts showing their chests. But that changed. The last time I checked the Latino singers had every button on their shirt buttoned up to their chin, looking very conservative compared to the past. So seeing what I’ve described in this article about the Classical Music field is not at all new to the pop music culture. Again, it would appear that the Classical Music field is adopting similar marketing gimmicks to try to “save Classical Music.” Good luck with that! I just don’t see that working because the Classical Music audience is a completely different audience than that of the pop music culture which is mostly young and high-pitched screaming “teeny boppers.” Apparently no one has considered that we’re talking about two very different audiences. The pop music culture audience is nothing like the Classical Music audience from what I’ve observed from both.

So add this article’s content to the long list of the hypocrisies and double-standards in the (sexist) Classical Music tradition.

I just wanted to point out this double-standard, hypocrisy and to also point out that sexism is still very much with us in the Classical Music field. And in today’s draconian political climate, many things are going backwards — including the increasing return of the sexist language “mankind” instead of “humankind,” the latter which has been used since at least the late 1970s up until recently — so I expect little to nothing to change in a genuinely progressive sense in the Classical Music field because of this.

Here are some other images I found to give you an idea of what I’m talking about:

Ms Violinist. She loves her chest.

These four female string players love their chest.

This concert pianist loves her chest and legs.

These four female string musicians can’t get enough of their chests.

This female cellist can’t get enough of her bare arms, bare shoulders and chest. And she looks like she’s wearing drapery material to cover up her lower half.

https://media.gettyimages.com/photos/pianist-khatia-buniatishvili-attends-the-gala-evening-of-the-council-picture-id896333544

I guess this female concert pianist over here on the right is interested in having people talk to her boobs rather than to her directly. I guess people are supposed to greet her with, “Halo, nice rack.” I mean, she’s gone out of her way to deliberately “present” her boobs to us for a reason, so she obviously wants people to gawk at them or stare at them while talking with her. What is with females and their absolute obsession, fixation and addiction over their breasts? I don’t understand this. Can you imagine if a male concert pianist showed up similarly with just black pants on and no shirt? Or a shirt on but unbuttoned to show his chest? Or a shiek/stylish tank top? There is such inequality between the genders in this regard.

This extreme obsession that many females have with their upper body is to a point where one might suggest they need some intensive psychotherapy frankly to see what is really going on in their head in this regard.

Or, are all of these bare-chest females trying to cater to people’s sexist view of women as a sex object? If so, they’re doing a splendid job of that and it would seem that we’ve accomplished little in the way of eradicating sexism, especially in the Classical Music field.

And based on the Male Patriarchy behaviour — him-tall-dominant, her-short-submissive (from what I’ve read about this it’s mostly her head trip) where he looks like he’s making out with his little daughter having to lean way over and down just to get to her lips — that I see from Millennial breeder couples in San Francisco and anywhere else I look for that matter, I can safely say that, yes, we have accomplished very little in this regard as a society. Chau.—el barrio rosa

Related:

Will straight soft porn save classical music?