Jim Tobin responded to me:
>>Maybe Levine took his lead from Sergiu Celibadache's performances
>>with the Munich Philharonic that Levine just left (though Levine's tempos
>>have often been slow, especially recently), but that orchestra could
>>sustain these tempos.
>Even a generation ago Levine could be very slow. A friend who frequented
>the Met in New York told me then that early in one performance someone
>high in the hall loudly called out TOOO0 SLOOOW to general amusement.
>He agreed with the judgment though he regretted the rudeness.
True. But it's funny about him. I remember thinking of him as a faster,
slashing kind of conductor--way back when he made his first big splash.
No more, as far as I can tell, and not for a while. I suspect that some
of this has to do with his physical problems--kind of like Klemperer
after his stroke, though I find post-stroke Klemperer more interesting
than Levine, at least until the very end of K's career.
Pretty good story, by the way.