Voices 06/09/2010

To each his own

I read somewhere that, during a concert, a conductor gave the baton to one of the spectators, leaving to him the conduction of the orchestra. A nice and a bit silly story that makes me think two things.

The first one is that there is nothing special in this piece of news since a good orchestra can play without the conductor; the other one is that neither the conductor nor the spectator seem to the satisfied of their role.
Why switching the roles, given that they need each other and that they are both important and wonderful?
Perhaps in order to please a sense of familiarity, a decontracté way to live our lives.

“Come on the stage, please. I give you for a moment my baton”! A funny action that shows the actual tyranny of “why not?” or “why not me?”. There is something wrong in this, a lack of appearances and of healthy distances. If we keep reducing them we really risk confusing also the content. Only culture allows respecting the different roles, to recognize each one’s abilities and to admire who deserves it.

At a concert, like when seated at a great restaurant, it is important to respect the uniqueness of the moment, without making it trivial or a daily experience. The food is life, the great cuisine is art; otherwise I’m just one that is good in cooking or in playing.

To live properly an emotion, like attending an important concert, people need to be in a particular state of mind: we need to feel like being astonished by what we see; we need good taste and analytical skills. Everybody should stick to its role, demonstrating to be also interested in it: the chef has to send a message of beauty, from the plate to the environment, while the customer has to be ready to understand what the message is. The art can be up for grabs.

An experience that, like the style and the luxury, is impalpable, closer to harmony than to a material possession.
When I was at the “Al Mercato”, the hotel with restaurant of my parents, I desired to grow up, to move to the city center, to find the right clients, able to understand me. But, thinking now about it, I could do a great cuisine also there because art, style and luxury are inside the cook, with the advantage to show them in your place.

di Gualtiero Marchesi