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Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
slipperykeys #2776883 10/30/18 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by slipperykeys
Originally Posted by DazedAndConfused
Originally Posted by slipperykeys
Originally Posted by DazedAndConfused
Originally Posted by wr
I consciously learned how to "swallow" coughs, after I read that it was possible (I think it may have been in something Brendel wrote or said). Now I am convinced that, unless you are so ill with a virus that you should be home in bed, a cough is almost always avoidable. At least it is for me. The trick is to keep your swallowing mechanism continuously working until the impulse to cough goes away. You can't cough and swallow at the same time, after all. It is a technique that actually works, but I wouldn't have known to try it without reading about it - it's not very intuitive, and it does feel a bit weird.


That's the important bit. People arrive at a concert hall with different levels of respiratory health, allergies and neurological control. It is impossible for me, you, the OP or Andras Schiff to say whether or not that particular individual could have done more to avoid that cough. And the level of self-entitlement that puts a bogus need to complete the communion with God via an evening with Bach versus the health need of a human being who waited until the music was finished before coughing, is jaw dropping.

For info: Wigmore Hall is in Central London a city with one of the worse levels of air pollution in the developed world. London exceeds its annual limit for air pollution before the end of January every year.

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news...n-limit-just-one-month-into-the-new-year
https://www.theguardian.com/environ...g-dangerous-levels-of-toxic-air-particle

Where there is bad air there are allergies and asthma and the increased risk of coughing. More than 12% of the UK population has been diagnosed with asthma. I dread to think what the percentage is in London. We took the painful decision to move out of London for one reason and one reason only, so our children could grow up with better air quality.

I am not a cougher. My wife is. She is also a lover of music and culture. If she has a cough during a musical or theatrical performance, it is because she needs to not because she wants to.

I think a little more tolerance of human foibles and frailties would make the world a much better place in so many ways.


"At least it is for me", you have arbitarily decided that this is "the important bit", I am not sure that is the case.

So if we take this... "If she has a cough during a musical or theatrical performance, it is because she needs to not because she wants to. ""

You say you are not a cougher but your wife is, but you also assume that EVERYBODY only coughs because they need to, which is plainly not the case on many occasions, using a cough to attract attention to yourself is fairly common practice. Therefore the subject matter of the OP is relevant and it would be agreed, almost anywhere but the internet, that he is the best judge of the situation.



....... And when in doubt, give the benefit of the doubt and don't judge.

The ridiculousness of this situation is that the audience member actually waited until the end of the music to cough, but oh no, he interrupted Schiff's holy communion and must be shamed and 'put in his place' by the laughably pompous maestro .... Schiff is the one who should be ashamed of himself.

You appear quite content to judge, "the laughably pompous maestro...." giving him no "benefit of the doubt" whatsoever.


Ok with the caveat that the OP's description of the event is accurate, there is no benefit of the doubt. That is the behaviour of a puffed up, pompous four year old in men's clothing.

Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
Tyrone Slothrop #2776898 10/30/18 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
My wife, who does not participate in this forum asked me to post this about Schiff's behavior.

Mrs. Slothrop:
"Top artists often perform immersively, where the music passes through the lens of their own emotions and they express those emotions in their performance. It is not easy to switch out of this moment of open expression, honesty, and even vulnerability, and when something negative suddenly occurs for them, they might express their frustration through behavior lacking in the usual courtesy, since they are still in a psychological state of being open and honest - their frustration is also a reflection of that honesty. I feel this speaks in their favor since caught in that moment, they overreact. It is what makes them a talented artist."



It sounds like your wife is very perceptive, when it comes to performers ! thumb



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Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
David-G #2776919 10/30/18 08:58 PM
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While there are undoubtedly rude and ignorant people who make all sorts of noise at concerts, sometimes it just can't be helped. I can't help but think of the time a man died in London when Mitsuko Uchida was performing (I know it's an extreme example).

When she took to the stage to continue after the incident, she addressed the audience saying something like "What a beautiful time to go." I always thought that was such a simple yet lovely thing to say. I'm sure it got back to his family.

Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
David-G #2777661 11/02/18 11:58 PM
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How absurdly ridiculous. Time for him to retire. The fact that the man actually waited until the sound stopped to cough is evidence enough to me that he was having a hard time keeping it in and it just had to come out. Imagine somebody attending a classical concert for the first time and witnessing this behavior, thinking it is the norm. They now are likely paralyzed the next time the go to one that they will face public humiliation.

I also find it indireclty ironic that Schiff (more than almost any other artist), prides himself as a musician true to the composer and the era of the time. He should know that during Schubert's life these sontas were performed not in large, quiet concert halls, but in informal salon settings, where pianists would play individual movements - not where people would talk when playing, but certainly not as formal as the airtight atmosphere in concert halls today.

Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
Opus_Maximus #2779406 11/08/18 09:53 PM
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Hello Maximus grin grin I'm sorry that I've got something totally irrelevant - I was curious what Pogorelich exactly said during his speech after the 2006 NYC recital and was hoping you could contribute some sort of info. I know it's been a while but anyhting at all would be much appreciated!
(Basically just try and fill in the missing bits below please...)

The second thing he brought up was apparently about some misfortune that took place at the time in NYC/the US(?).
"Second of all, it disgusts(?) ...(inaudible) the people who come and ...(inaudible), to reflect on the most unfortunate(?) 9th day of September, that has...(inaudible) as yet. I would ask for a few moments of silence."

About future plans:
"...and we're trying to establish this regional(?)... ... in January of 2008. However before that I would become a ...(?), I like that the condition with the city is much less garbage on the streets, very very nice to see the people, and ... ... . And I'm going back to the building where I used to keep an apartment in which I saw that my wife passed away, and ... ... . So, I might become one of you again. Thank you very much."

Earlier, before the final piece(Rach sonata NO.2), the brief speech on the Hamburg/NY pianos:
"...and I wish I could've used both, because it's such a diverse program that goes to play(?) general music ... ..., and music that had to do with the 20th century. But the section, approx. the second of the...(?), was .... ..., so I have to ... ... .... (then they laughed)"


Again thanks so much if you've waded through this!

Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
David-G #2779452 11/09/18 04:00 AM
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Then there's this - interesting in its own right, but I was particularly taken with the reference to another concert where the conductor hurled cough drops at the audience!!

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/m...-cough-drops-miffed-muti-stops-cso-show/

Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
wr #2779461 11/09/18 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by wr
Then there's this - interesting in its own right, but I was particularly taken with the reference to another concert where the conductor hurled cough drops at the audience!!

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/m...-cough-drops-miffed-muti-stops-cso-show/


If I took one of the free cough drops I'd probably start choking on it. That would really cause a stir.

Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
wr #2779489 11/09/18 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by wr
Then there's this - interesting in its own right, but I was particularly taken with the reference to another concert where the conductor hurled cough drops at the audience!!

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/m...-cough-drops-miffed-muti-stops-cso-show/


from that article:

“Audiences seem to be getting ruder,” Johnson said.

Well some of the conductors certainly are!

"Muti briefly castigated the audience. His exact words — including the use of profanity — were, given his heavy Italian accent, disputed over social media by those in attendance."

He has no right to demand good manners when he is an uncouth pig who cannot control his own tongue.

Pot. Kettle. As they say.

Last edited by DazedAndConfused; 11/09/18 07:36 AM.
Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
wr #2779499 11/09/18 09:06 AM
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What a jumped-up wally.

I should wager that one of these days, the audience will start booing behaviour like this, and possibly some of them will get up and walk out, or even demand a refund on their ticket. This cannot end well, surely.

Conductors are sometimes a funny lot. Even in that picture of him in that article he looks like a pompous prat.

I think it's perfectly acceptable to stop a performance and "refocus" as the article says. But to reprimand the audience simply paints one as being on a power trip. As well as being a wally, as I said before.

I have worked with a few conductors in my time, and I must say, I found a lot of them to be po-faced and arrogant, and actually rather unpopular with the orchestra.

Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
wr #2779517 11/09/18 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by wr
Then there's this - interesting in its own right, but I was particularly taken with the reference to another concert where the conductor hurled cough drops at the audience!!

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/m...-cough-drops-miffed-muti-stops-cso-show/
The writer of that article seems to think it is always possible to hold in a cough until the end of a piece or movement. Of course, that's simply not true. OTOH there are probably some people who make no attempt to stifle a cough or muffle it with their hand or jacket.

Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
David-G #2779519 11/09/18 10:17 AM
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Especially the old "Cough on your own saliva" which I'm sure we're all familiar with, where one mis-swallows.

I did that a couple of days ago, and it was reflex, no way I could hold that in.

Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
Zaphod #2779522 11/09/18 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod
Especially the old "Cough on your own saliva" which I'm sure we're all familiar with, where one mis-swallows.

I did that a couple of days ago, and it was reflex, no way I could hold that in.

Not sure that what people say are reflexes are actually true reflexes. When I was a kid, I taught myself how to suppress both hiccups and sneezes, both of which some people claim are reflexes, and I do that to this day, when it is inconvenient to sneeze or hiccup (it's always inconvenient to hiccup, so as a rule, or except as a gag, I never allow myself to hiccup). I've never specially tried to teach myself to suppress coughs, since even when I was a kid, coughing seemed like such a voluntary process. But I suppose one could teach oneself to suppress coughing too if its possible to do with sneezes and hiccups. That is unless it is like learning to curl your tongue, something only children can teach themselves to do, as I understand.


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Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
David-G #2779528 11/09/18 11:04 AM
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Well, at least he and the audience didn't start clapping, cheering, whistling and so on after the first few bars. I'm not sure if it still happens, but I bought a live album, I think it was Simon and Garfunckle and the coughing started after (well during) the intro to 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters'. Now that is infuriating!


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Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
Zaphod #2779577 11/09/18 03:07 PM
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This chap throwing cough drops at the audience, what a generous gesture, so caring and showing genuine concern for the health of concert-goers. About time this sort of facility was made available to us all. But was he certain the cough drops were reaching the intended recipients? The whole delivery method seems very open to error and inaccuracy. There is a good chance somebody without a cough received a cough-drop that firstly they had not earned and secondly were not in need of.
All very haphazard. I wonder... has he seen those DHL ads? (Other accurate delivery companies are available)

Originally Posted by Zaphod


...... Even in that picture of him in that article he looks like a pompous prat.



Convincing argument. Wins it for me,

Although it's easy to look bad in a photograph, even I can do it, if I try hard enough. Still, let's get 'em where it hurts, nothing pompous about us all sitting in judgement....

In the interests of balance, you could send him a picture of you and ask him what he thinks you look like.

Originally Posted by Zaphod

I think it's perfectly acceptable to stop a performance and "refocus" as the article says.


Yes but it takes time, makes people late, some have to be up early tomorrow, taxi's are booked, baby-sitters.... this isn't a Bruce Springsteen concert where you expect the "artist" to be late as he wants and to show no regard to you and your needs! Indeed, here the artist has already demonstrated his concern for others by remembering to bring his stock of cough-drops.

Originally Posted by Zaphod


I have worked with a few conductors in my time, and I must say, I found a lot of them to be po-faced and arrogant, and actually rather unpopular with the orchestra.


Well, I think they're probably going to be. Telling other people what to do is often a recipe for making oneself unpopular, especially if the people you are telling what to do think they already know better than you.

Cough drops eh? Must go to a concert soon, I'm feeling a little "chesty", although I think I better take a big net.



Last edited by slipperykeys; 11/09/18 03:11 PM.
Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
wr #2779584 11/09/18 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by wr
Then there's this - interesting in its own right, but I was particularly taken with the reference to another concert where the conductor hurled cough drops at the audience!!

https://chicago.suntimes.com/news/m...-cough-drops-miffed-muti-stops-cso-show/

These prima donnas need to get a grip on reality. If it weren’t for the paying plebes who fill the concert halls these demi-gods would be out of work.



Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
slipperykeys #2779585 11/09/18 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by slipperykeys

Originally Posted by Zaphod


...... Even in that picture of him in that article he looks like a pompous prat.



Convincing argument. Wins it for me,


That made me chuckle.

Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
Zaphod #2779825 11/10/18 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Zaphod
Originally Posted by slipperykeys

Originally Posted by Zaphod


...... Even in that picture of him in that article he looks like a pompous prat.



Convincing argument. Wins it for me,


That made me chuckle.


I'm glad, and it's good of you to take it in the spirit it was intended, to a large extent the whole thing was meant to be a bit of a joke.

Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
David-G #2781248 11/15/18 09:57 AM
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There is something that doesn't quite make sense to me about the coughing that you always get at classical concerts. If you need to cough, surely it would be possible to wait for a forte passage instead of spoiling a pianissimo or a break between movements or the transcendental 5 seconds at the end of a Schubert recital. Then, nobody would hear it as it'd be effectively masked by the dB level of the music.

Sometimes coughing just cannot be avoided which is just something you accept in a public place. Or if you know you're going to cough a lot, don't go to a concert.

But most people, most of the time can control it as is proved by the fact that everyone coughs in a break.

Much better to do it in a loud bit or during applause, and no one would be bothered by it or even aware of it.


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Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
toddy #2781262 11/15/18 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by toddy
There is something that doesn't quite make sense to me about the coughing that you always get at classical concerts. If you need to cough, surely it would be possible to wait for a forte passage instead of spoiling a pianissimo or a break between movements or the transcendental 5 seconds at the end of a Schubert recital. Then, nobody would hear it as it'd be effectively masked by the dB level of the music.
As someone with a chronic cough problem, I can say it's definitely not true that one can hold in a cough for any length of time, even a few additional seconds. A cough will be heard in a loud passage although it's true that it will be less of a disruption.

As far as the end of the recital goes, it's possible that the cougher just didn't realize that it would be better to wait until Schiff was completely finished(for ten few more seconds after the piece ended) or he may have been struggling to hold in the cough for a while before the piece ended. No one knows but I think it kind of ruins the recital to do what Schiff did at the end. There are hundreds or thousands of people in the audience at these recitals and to expect perfect behavior from all of them is just unrealistic.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 11/15/18 10:40 AM.
Re: A cougher put in his place - an extraordinary vignette
toddy #2781278 11/15/18 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by toddy
There is something that doesn't quite make sense to me about the coughing that you always get at classical concerts. If you need to cough, surely it would be possible to wait for a forte passage instead of spoiling a pianissimo or a break between movements or the transcendental 5 seconds at the end of a Schubert recital. Then, nobody would hear it as it'd be effectively masked by the dB level of the music.

Sometimes coughing just cannot be avoided which is just something you accept in a public place. Or if you know you're going to cough a lot, don't go to a concert.

But most people, most of the time can control it as is proved by the fact that everyone coughs in a break.

Much better to do it in a loud bit or during applause, and no one would be bothered by it or even aware of it.



The mistake imo is to believe that because most people can control a cough most of the time therefore all people ought to be able to control a cough all of the time. This is plainly illogical.

I could just as easily argue that because hardly anyone ever coughs during a quiet passage, on the rare occasion that it does occur it is probably unavoidable. Tickets are not cheap, who would pay money to deliberately spoil the show for themselves and others?

Last edited by DazedAndConfused; 11/15/18 11:18 AM.
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