Nicholas Yasillo replies to us Muti-bashers:
> Some things to consider:
> 1. The Riccardo Muti of today is not necessarily the same person who
> conducted in Philadelphia 25 yeas ago.
True, and it's a telling point. I, for instance, haven't heard any of his
> 2. Many people, including me think that the change in Phily from the
> lush "Ormandy" sound was much needed, Today's orchestras need to be more
> flexible and need to be able to adapt to a "composer's intent".
I have problems with this. First, you'll never know the composer's
intent, particularly the intent of a dead composer. Second, this was
Muti's argument at the time he ruined the Philadelphia. Third, it seems
iffy to me to say that a sound should reflect what's in the score. As
far as I know, Ormandy never changed a note, yet here we are, squabbling
over whether he "betrayed" the composer. Fourth, if all you want is an
accurate, informed performance, why not just create a MIDI file?
> 2. Of the 30 or so conductors who have been guest conducting the C.S.O
> over the last 2 years, Muti was far and away the orchestra's favorite
> and was absolutely at the top of the list as choice for Music Director.
That counts for a lot.
> 3. A C.S.O player who is one of Muti's most outspoken and biggest
> supporters was someone who played under him in Philadelphia.
Some people liked Loren Maazel when he took over the Cleveland. *I*
liked him, but not necessarily because I thought he was right for the
orchestra -- rather, I liked his repertoire.
> 4. A strictly personal observation: For the month that Muti conducted
> the C.S.O. this season in Chicago and on-tour, the Orchestra played
> (I.M.H.O.) better than it has since the peak of the Solti days.
Again, a powerful argument.
I'm perfectly willing to own up to treating Muti unfairly. I should
give him a chance.
But I still hate his Philadelphia recordings.
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