While we are on the subject of Brahms, Opera News ran an editorial praising Pizzazz in recitals. Yes. By all means. Cecilia Bartoli has had a marvelously lucrative career based on her unrivaled pizzazz in the recital and concert format. My problem was that they cited as the most boring recital they could think of an all Brahms program. So Brahms can't have pizzazz? I used to do a lot of Brahms which may explain the complete dud of my performing career.
The lack of pizzazz in recitals can be credited to the academic influence. Degree programs frequently have recital requirements, and academic vocal recitals follow a certain format and have certain expectations. This philosophy of programming has found its way into Carnegie Hall where we are supposed to be impressed by obscurity while pining away for hit tunes. Classical music works too hard to distinguish itself from pop. Make pop out of classical. Don't wait till the encores to do what you do best.
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