“What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon and three legs in the evening?” If the average Chautauquan didn’t know the answer to this riddle, he would have been punished by the plague in Sophocles’ play “Oedipus the King.” What he also probably didn’t know was that this riddle highlights an “eternal triangle” of art, religion and politics.
Students in Chautauqua’s School of Music have more to learn than technique, intonation and timing. They also have to grasp time travel. “The difference is that, whereas the Beethoven symphony hasn’t changed since it was written in the early 19th century, the context in which it’s being performed and heard is dramatically different,” said Timothy Muffitt, music director of the Music School Festival Orchestra. “So we, as musicians, have to have an awareness of that.”