Janos Gereben wrote: (quoting Lebrecht)
> Why did it unravel so fast? Was his Debussy too prissy, his Haydn
> too sweet? There was adverse criticism aplenty in the local
> papers, but if bad reviews ever drove a player out of town no
> football club would be able to field a full team.
Well, I wonder...I don't think that football and classical music
audiences are the same. Football audiences want their team to win,
whoever the coach is. With classical music it's far more personal.
If you like/dislike something, it's supposed to say something about
your own knowledge/taste whatever. Thus people are much more sensitive
to what their local newspaper and peers think. What the international
press thinks means nothing.
> Many of the players in Philadelphia are professors at the Curtis
This is the case with orchestras all over the world - lots of then
moonlight in academia, including in London as Norman should know. So
it's not much of a case per se.
> At a concert of fifth symphonies by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky at
> the BBC Proms this summer, it was noticeable how little some of the
> musicians looked at their notional master.
Well that was news to me! I was there and in good seats, too. And
watched the TV broadcast several times for closeups. What was striking
was how the musicians and conductor were working together - the sense
of occasion was wonderful. Afterwards, there were tears in the eyes
of some players - old ones as well as young ones. If they weren't looking
at their conductor how did they produce such glorious music? (google
for reviews and try S&H - it was Prom 55 I think, easily the best Prom
of the season, and I wasn't the only one to think so)
Perhaps it's newsworthy that the orchestra has only had a few conductors
since Stokowski, but again that's a logical neither here nor there. No
sound, no matter how wonderful, exists the same forever. In fact, it's
probably not a good idea to have "one size fits all" in music. Taking
the same logic as in Norman's article, and turning it round, maybe it
could be suggested that it's a good thing a conductor doesn't want to
fit in a preconcieved mould.
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