----- Original Message -----
From: Leslie Dreyer
Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 2010 9:05 AM
Subject: "Snooze and you lose all in the stalls" (On Theatre, Oct.29.10)
My first violin teacher (a cantankerous old Russian, yet highly respected in the music world), had an interesting theory why people fall asleep at concerts: If the artist is not world-class, the audience worries that at any moment there might be a musical disaster--like a memory lapse, or botched technical passage, or missed note---so the listener is nervously alert.
Yet if the artist is a reliable superstar (like a Heifetz or Horowitz), then the listener relaxes, comforted that nothing can go wrong, and pays the artist the ultimate homage---by falling blissfully asleep.
(Retired violinist of the Met Opera Orchestra)
180 West End Ave.
NYC 10023 USA