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CLASSICAL  April 2007

CLASSICAL April 2007

Subject:

Re: Communication

From:

Steve Schwartz <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Moderated Classical Music List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 1 Apr 2007 20:32:34 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (31 lines)

Bernard Chasan replies to me:

>I attended the Saturday evening performance of the Mahler Third and
>found it anything but dull.  I also fail to see what is so fabulous about
>Schwartz's' nicknane for Levine, "jimmy the Hut".  In truth Levine does
>not cut a graceful figure on the podium, but what does that have to do
>with his conducting abilities?  Steve has a low opinion of these- I think
>that he wildly overstates his case.

Good points.  I suppose my disgusting nickname for Levine derives more
from my moral revulsion toward him (I don't really want to go into
details) than for his appearance, although in this case, the two mesh
with Dickensian appropriateness.  After all, I myself do not cut a
graceful figure.  As to Levine's conducting abilities, you're right that
my opinion of them is low -- not that he's incompetent, but that he's
so incredibly stodgy.  I can't believe he studied with Szell.  Consequently,
I have no conflict between my feelings for him as an artist and as a
person, unlike my feelings for Wagner.  There's nothing I look forward
to hearing from him: not opera, not Romantic music, not Classical, not
Modern, no single composer.  To me, he's a career.  There are so many
better conductors out there with not even a tenth of Levine's success
that it does make me wonder how he got to Boston, Munich, and the Met.
To give the devil his due, he is a wonderful chamber pianist.

Steve Schwartz

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