Opera and Concerts Anecdotes (Post No.4485)

Compiled by London Swaminathan 


Date: 12 DECEMBER 2017 


Time uploaded in London-  19-24



Post No. 4485

Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks.



Mouths wide open; eyes staring!

Walking with a friend one day, Fritz Kreisler passed a large fish shop where a fine catch of codfish, with mouths open and eyes staring, were arranged in a row. Kreisler suddenly stopped, looked at them, and clutching his friend by the arm exclaimed,

“Heavens! That reminds me — I should be playing at a concert!”



Hired Audience!

So dependent on the adulation of the audiences was Franz Litsz that he is said to have paid women 25 Franks to faint at the concerts. The swoon was always timed to occur just before the climax of his most popular run. Litsz would stoop from his piano stool , pick up the swooner and leave the rest of the audience impressed by his brilliance and dismayed by their own stolidity. Once, however, the hired fainter forgot to faint. Liszt s fingers flew up the keys — but he could not finish the run. So, he fainted himself!



No Taste for Music


Joseph Choate, the lawyer, had no taste for music. Once he was persuaded by his daughter to accompany her to the opera. He looked at the libretto helplessly and said,

Helen, expound to me this record lest I dilate with the wrong emotion.



True Listeners!


After his concert at a Midwestern town, Paderewski was found backstage in a silent, preoccupied mood. One of his aides asked if he were ill.

No, no, the great musician replied, but some friends were missing. The grey hired couple. They were not in their usual seats in the fourth row.

The aide was surprised. I didn’t know you had friends in this town. Did you know them well?

I knew them very well, explained Penderecki, but I never met them. I liked the way they listened. Every time I have played here for 20 years I have always played for them. He shook his head gravely. I hope there is nothing seriously wrong.



Lower Classes like Music more

According to C R W Nevinson , it was a privilege to paint Mark Hambourg , a dear friend. Never have I met a man with such a gift for penetrating to the heart of things and by the use of a few vivid phrases he will lift any conversation out of the ordinary. I remember sitting beside him in an after dinner concert, when Moiseivitch was playing. The audience, all men and women of culture were anything but attentive, smoking, drinking, coughing, picking wriggling, but the waiters and waitresses stood entranced, their eyes on the master.

Look, said Mark, look at effects of education. It kills all concentration. The lower classes are the only people left who can listen and can respond to the highest emotions.




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