lundi 30 mai 2011

Concert Hall acoustics

Have a look at the lively blog of the Orchestre de Paris. It is in French but contains a very smart comment on the acoustics of the Vienna Musikverein: "One can hear every instrument, even in a fortissimo ... " (my translation ...).

This is a very important point raised by Christian Leblé..With the improvement of the Salle Pleyel, resident orchestras like the Orchestre de Paris and the Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique dramatically improved their coherence, dynamic range and overall balance. On the other hand, I was living in London when the LSO moved fro the Royal Festival Hall to the Barbican and felt that something broke. Unfortunately, this can work both ways, up and down.

The Orchestre de la Suisse Romande which I cover for concertonet plays in Victoria Hall. It is a charming concert hall but a very narrow one where tuttis are muddled. It works fine say for a Chamber ensemble but saturates for a Mahler Symphony.

In such conditions, Orchestras cannot improve and it is no surprise that good orchestras thrive in superlative acoustics (Boston, Amsterdam ...).

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