Steve Schwartz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>Relayed from a friend in Berlin. A radical revision of the American
>"Big Five" orchestras.
My recollection was that membership to the "Big Five" was, at least at
one time, determined by the size of the budget.
Reading that article I was reminded how unaware I am of the playing
of US orchestras these days since so few have syndicated broadcasts.
I also wonder if I would even bother listening since the programming
is so dull.
I often consult the repertoire lists published by the American Symphony
Orchestra League. Earlier this morning I was reading a posting on the
Martinu discussion list. Someone was mentioning the lack of Martinu
performances in Sweden. I checked the ASOL lists for the last few years
and found that only 4 Martinu works have appeared with any regularity
and the bulk of those performances have been given by the regional
orchestras in this country.
A friend of a friend who plays in the orchestra, tells me that the NY
Phil has gotten very sloppy as of late...and bored with Maazel...well
I guess I rarely ever found him inspiring. And then the article above
suggests Ozawa was treated unfairly...Perhaps so, but I never heard a
broadcast or a recording of his that moved me in the slightest. I am
not suggesting he didn't know what he was doing, but for me, he and
Maazel have nothing to say.
As to the orchestras...I think...remember Steve, you did ask for
comments...that it is a bit like my Dad used to say about football. On
any given Saturday, just about any college team can beat out any other
team. It depends on many factors, how tired they are, how much they
like their conductor, how filled the house it, how well rehearsals went,
how much they like the repertoire...etc.
I believe that today we have more highly trained, proficient orchestra
musicians than we have ever had. For me, what we lack is inspired
conductors who have something to say with the music and conductors who
can inspire the players.
And, from the little I have heard, I think San Francisco under Tilson
Thomas is probably amongst the best we have when it comes to a conductor
with something to say, a well trained and proficient group of musicians,
diverse repertoire, etc.