Rachel Podger and those Lazy Americans

10

December
2010

Well-known British baroque violinist Rachel Podger recently gave Nick Shave of The Guardian the low-down on American period-instrument musicians, among many other topics. In the middle of talking about the amount of time required to learn and absorb a sense of style, she elaborated by slipping into condescension.

“You have to enter Bach’s age and live with it for a while by studying it and understanding the social and historical context of the music,” Podger says. “It’s not like in the States, where they say: ‘Give me 10 things that I have to do to be a baroque player, tell me what DVD to watch so I can suss it out.’ You know, that kind of approach is just a bit …” she sucks in her teeth, like a craftsman surveying a botched job.

Her surprising statement begs asking how much she’s really worked in the United States. Apart from touring, has she really spent enough time here to make such a claim, or is it a gross exaggeration?

More importantly, will any of those lazy Americans ever want to work with her now?

Read more: Rachel Podger: Between baroque and a hard place (The Guardian)

(Rachel Podger; photo: Jonas Sacks)

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