I'm wryly amused by the "I never liked him either" Gergiev posts, because
in my case it has worked precisely the opposite way!
I've never had much time for his shamanistic wavings; but Gergiev's
reasoned - and clearly unpopular - defence of his country's actions in
South Ossetia (heard in spoken form in an interview with BBC Radio 4 two
weeks ago) struck me as a courageous stand to take, in a Western World
doing more than the usual amount of hypocritical huffing and puffing,
over an issue which is extremely sad and very complex - as Gergiev
himself was the first to acknowledge.
The notion that he is "misusing" music makes no sense, to me at least.
It is rather as if we were to turn up our noses at the band which plays
Elgar's "Nimrod" at the Remembrance Day service at London's Whitehall
cenotaph, simply because they are using music to excite patriotic emotion.
Instead, I want to urge members of the list to *buy* some Gergiev.
In the last two weeks I've been listening with great pleasure to a batch
of his Rimsky-Korsakov opera performances, notably "Kaschei the Immortal"
(about an old tyrant who keeps himself alive by killing young men) and
"The Tsar's Bride" (about an oprichnik who wastes power and several lives
including his own because of unbridled, unreasonable passion). Both are
marvellous works, too little known, and both are performed with a warmth
and commitment which speaks well for the musical values of the man at
And that, frankly, is what matters most to me.
Christopher Webber, Blackheath, London, UK
"ZARZUELA!" The Spanish Music Site
The CLASSICAL mailing list is powered by L-Soft's renowned LISTSERV(R)
list management software together with L-Soft's HDMail High Deliverability
Mailer for reliable, lightning fast mail delivery. For more information,
go to: http://www.lsoft.com/LISTSERV-powered.html