Thursday, March 08, 2007

Richard Goode over Internet2

I've seen lots of lessons and masterclasses being taped for Internet2 broadcast, but yesterday was the first time I'd watched one from the other end. It was a masterclass with pianist Richard Goode, taped in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall at Northwestern University (which was my graduate school). The pianists I heard were doctoral students, playing sonata movements by Beethoven and Schubert.

The sound quality itself was great, as was the image - we were watching a wide screen television, but there were moments when I felt like I was right there in Evanston, wondering if they could hear and see me as well as I could them. (I'm pretty sure we weren't being taped...) They used several camera views, so I could actually see a lot more than I would at a live masterclass - peering over the pianists' shoulders, sneaking in for close-ups of fingerings, etc.

I was especially impressed by how Richard Goode coached the pieces in terms of orchestrational possibilities. A playful eighth note figure in the left hand should sound more like bassoons than trombones and tubas - the sound of a theme in the Schubert should be drawn out like a slow bow. I'm not sure I've heard another pianist who seemed so attuned to the colors of other instruments, and constantly applied them to the piano repertoire.

Watching the class was so cool and enlightening, I've been wondering how Internet2 is going to develop in the next few years. Maybe every masterclass around the country will be taped and offered for broadcast, and each music school's students will have remote-control wars whether to tune into Yo-Yo Ma or Dale Clevenger or Edgar Meyer - every school will have an Internet2 studio to tape and watch broadcasts, and you'll be able to channel surf to performances and classes around the world. It seems like the technological capability is there already; it's just a matter of getting the equipment out and making people aware about all the possibilities it offers.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

Hey Matt, it was cool to hear Richard Goode wanting another instrument to sound like a bassoon! I am so often trying to sound like something else cello/bass/clarinet/voice/piano, etc...! See ya