Sunday, April 06, 2008

A nation without manners or, Sokolov in Athens

Yes, Sokolov was here, for the second following year. Yes, he was splendid. Once again. Though last year it wasn't his best. And before anyone reacts, this was the eighth time I was listening him on a recital. He goes every year to Helsinki, and I was present in almost every of his concerts. The year I missed it, well, it didn't hurt. He played the same program at the Koeln Philharmonie -with me there... huhuh.

So, Mr Sokolov with two Mozart sonatas in f major -the usual way, no break for applause between them. In the second half, Chopin's 24 preludes. Yes, lovely, once again. And then, there we are -we that is, the ones who know- waiting for the second recital, his series of encores. The man plays -as long as you clap, and sit on your butt. Usually, 5 to 7 encores are on the program. This time, few Scriabin short pieces, something modern, some impressionistic, six in all. No Bach -damn it, next time.

The audience unfortunately, wasn't as brilliant. Athens concert hall, megaron's main hall wasn't full either. The coughing went on and on. Like bombing. Yes, we're talking high rate per minute, not per hour... Anyway. You can't help that. Then, phones started ringing. Well, that too happens everywhere -even in Luxemburg. Then -we're not done yet- things started falling from the hands of listeners. This, I can't really understand. Key rings, key chains, mobiles, what the hell? Finally, around 10.45pm, (pretty late, or what?), after the first encore, people started leaving... Impatient people those Greeks. I keep wonder -not just from this recital- can a Greek stay silent and still for more than five (5) minutes. Or is it just that the listeners don't understand that a live concert is something totally different than a movie at home? Can it be? I really doubt that...

You can count on my words. In that concert last Wednesday, there weren't 5 minutes of silence in the first half. No. Mozart is too much to handle. In the second part, things got better... The encore part was the worse, with people standing while Sokolov was playing his third or fourth one. I'm sure he would have played another one or two -if it wasn't for those impatient Greeks. Want my money back! From them!

Hope he'll come back next year -though somehow, I'm sure he will. Cheers!

buzz it!


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Parsifal said...

And i thought that i was paranoid and i was acting like an old maid. I always complaint about the same things. People coughing, sendind sms, opening and closing zips and bags, taking out chewing gum and tissues, playing "kompoloi", talking outloud, being too bored to applaud for more than 10 seconds etc etc.

Stefanos Nasos said...

no, because of that -at least- you're not paranoid.

(one of the next posts might be interesting for you...)