It’s odd how chamber music has moved from the chamber to the recital hall. Chamber music. Music meant to be played in the chamber: the living room of one’s home.This transition of venue effects how we receive the music.
A recital hall does not have the intimacies of a living room, no matter how small it is. There is some sort of disconnect in a recital hall. An audience sits on pins and needles, holding back any sort of enjoyment until they are supposed to applaud. Stiff awkwardness prevails.
With the chamber, however, it strikes me as quite informal: a sharing of the beauty of music among friends, not so much caring about formalities. This gives the audience and musician comfort. It lets the music really breathe and express its beauty.
Maybe that’s how chamber music will bring a renewed vigor and vitality. Whether it be a house show or at a cafe, bring chamber music back to the chamber!