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CLASSICAL  August 2008

CLASSICAL August 2008

Subject:

Re: Evil Clark Skewers St. Gustavo (probably with some cause...:(

From:

Karl Miller <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Sat, 23 Aug 2008 12:22:08 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (66 lines)

Janos Gereben <[log in to unmask]> quoted:

>Gustavo Dudamel, Usher Hall, Edinburgh
>By Andrew Clark / Financial Times
>
>And the sad fact of this 27-year-old's career -- exactly like Daniel
>Harding's a decade ago -- is that he has had nowhere out-of-the-way to
>make his mistakes.  Impresarios have pounced on him, promoted him and
>now, almost overnight, expect him to exhibit interpretative maturity.
>It shows how shallow and short-sighted the classical music industry
>can be.

and

>Ravel's /La Valse /was punched out without a whiff of mystery.  This
>was nothing compared to Berlioz's /Symphonie fantastique/.  The opening
>"Reveries" were brash and frenetic.  "The Ball" unfurled without a single
>rubato.  "Scene in the Fields" lacked shape, majesty, bloom.  "March to
>the Scaffold" was like a parade of hippos.  The finale was shockingly
>crude and noisy.

I downloaded the concert. I decided to burn the Berlioz to a CD. It
will reside on my shelf next to the Toscanini Bolero...another classic
performance from outerspace...While the Berlioz has never been a favorite
piece of mine, Dudamel's performance had me going to the shelf to retrieve
my score as I didn't remember ever noticing the things he brought out.

He would seem to have an abundance of skill as a musician, but as the
writer above suggests, he doesn't seem to me to have a sense of the shape
of a piece. I would not expect him to have much maturity.  There can be
moments of excitement but there is almost a manic/depressive quality to
what I have heard of his work.  I think I have downloaded about three
or four of his concerts so far.  What I do find fascinating is that he
seems to approach each score like he has never heard the music before.

I have broadcasts of him doing things like Ravel's Daphnis, Bartok's
Concerto for Orchestra and the Prokofiev 5th.  It seems to me that his
interpretations are "on the edge." The performances sound to me as though
he looks at a score, and turns a few pages and says, "wow, this section
is terrific." Yet, he doesn't look at where that section might fit into
the entire context of the piece.

I won't deny that I find bits and pieces of it fascinating.  Nor would
I deny that it is reinterpretation that makes a work of art relevant to
each succeeding generation.

As to the shallow, short-sighted nature of the classical music business
as of late...one could write books about it...and indeed, several have
been written.  For the moment, Dudamel sells.  And, in almost a bizzare
way, what I have heard of his work, seems to be ideal for an audience
of individuals with short attention spans.

I would be curious to hear other perspectives on his work.

And, on the subject of young performers...yesterday I downloaded a
performance of the Schumann Piano Concerto, played by Martha Argerich.
It was amazingly good but it had a bit of that manic sense to it...but
then, she was only 11 years old at the time.

 Karl

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