Classical Music Geek: Completeness | Pandemic Musings

I’m really not sure whether my attention span has increased or decreased since quarantine started.

And with that, Facebook calls. See you in 15 minutes.

Our reward for getting three sentences in: my favorite opera scene EVER,

taken from the production of Les Indes galantes that I briefly discuss below.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, me and my attention span.

But I don’t usually have the attention span to sit down and listen to “complete” anything. At concerts, my mind often wanders (yeah, I admit it). My favorite albums usually have a little bit of a lot of things — just look at what I’ve reviewed so far.

Lately, though, I’ve found myself seeking out more “complete” musical experiences. Last week, I listened through all of Britten’s Turn of the Screw — I don’t usually listen to operas, it feels like a piece of missing (maybe I like to see staged works?). Just a couple days ago, I made it through the six hours of music that make up Marais’s second book of viol pieces. And now, I’m on a recording of Bach’s complete keyboard music (volume 3 of many).

I wonder if having more time necessarily translates to more attention. I feel like the answer is no. Then why am I seeking out “completeness” all of a sudden?

Maybe I’m overthinking this. Yeah, I think I’m only seeking out “completeness” because it’s new to me and I’m getting bored of only listening to skittish concept albums.

That said, my favorite “complete” experience that everyone should have this break: the Paris National Opera’s production of Rameau’s Les Indes galantes is available on arte.tv. You need a European VPN, but it’s well worth finding one. My friend and I started at 9pm and planned only to watch until the end of act two (the opera is a prologue plus four acts). It was so fantastic we didn’t stop until the bitter end. I can’t provide the link or else I might be sued, but go. Do it. You have the time.


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