I ask the question stimulated by a distinguished musician saying the following as part of a recent email conversation:

What is the point of presenting [these concerts] live as opposed to doing a video recording and distributing it that way? … The majority of these types of concerts do not feel like concerts at all. So why not have four rehearsals and use the remaining [time] to properly record, edit and present them as video documents. To me, the current method is not doing anything to gain new audiences and is just a reminder of how awful it is not to have live performances right now.

The latest live webcast to come my way (linked to below and available to watch until December 15) features Kent Nagano (pictured) conducting members of Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France in Britten, Pärt and Strauss – no audience, an ensemble socially distanced within itself, and repertoire chosen for its chamber scoring. I didn’t watch last night, when it was genuinely live, so caught it this morning, not live anymore of course but rather a film of an occasion.

The other side of the coin is that we are able (privileged?) to eavesdrop on happenings in numerous locations without leaving our homes (as instructed), and there is a certain vitality present when we know it is occurring there and then, which I didn’t experience quite so much with the Nagano concert just now, however expert and dedicated the performances.

However, what is your opinion? Please add a Comment below if you wish to.