Unusual Performance Venues

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Tonight at 8 o'clock, WQXR offers a Web cast--a broadcast exclusively on our Web stream at WQXR.org--of a concert by the Emerson String Quartet.

They're playing Beethoven, Dvorak, Janacek, and others. The event is a CD release party for their new album, Old World - New World, and a preview of their May series at Lincoln Center. 

What makes this performance unusual is the venue: (Le) Poisson Rouge, the club that occupies the building that used to be the Village Gate. (Le) Poisson Rouge's motto is "Serving Art & Alcohol," and the place has very much a jazz-club feel. They present a lot of classical music there. As you listen to the webcast tonight, you're very likely to hear some clinking of glasses, and maybe, far in the background, a blender mixing a cocktail.

It's an unusual place to hear classical music, compared to the long-standing tradition of concert-hall performances, but it's certainly not without precedent in history. Mozart's serenades and divertimentos, for example, were written for to be played at weddings or other convivial gatherings, and any compositions with the label "tafelmusik" were likely created for performance during a dinner--exactly what the term "table music" suggests. Still, a nightclub is an out-of-the-ordinary concert setting, which makes me wonder: What's the most unusual venue where you have heard classical music performed?