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Classical Beat
Posted at 12:54 AM ET, 03/21/2011

Links: The NSO and India (again); NHK and reviewing after crisis

Picking up some links to recent reviews:

Eschenbach leads NSO’s “Lyric” ode to India, by Anne Midgette.

Opinions in my own household were sharply divided on the merits of Zemlinsky’s “Lyric Symphony,” which I rather like. The audience was equally divided, to judge from my mail. Is there a consensus among this readership? Is it a piece you value, avoid, or simply don’t know?

One person wrote to let me know that he left the performance not because he didn’t like the music, but simply because it was too loud, which led me to think about classical music’s ability to be raucously, viscerally loud and even primal while retaining the social marker of being eminently genteel. (There is nothing genteel about the noise an opera singer makes when she’s going full throttle. That’s part of the thrill of opera.)

Japan’s NHK Orchestra puts on a good face at Strathmore, by Anne Midgette.

It’s intriguing that Andre Previn has evidently become a grand old man simply by virtue of longevity. Age, too, evidently gives one a pass when it comes to the actual quality of conducting. Some people, however, felt it was unconscionable to be at all critical of this performance by a Japanese orchestra at such a time. There is an argument to be made here; I remember feeling, in the wake of 9-11, that it was time to silence critical voices and simply use reviews to celebrate the fact that anyone was making music at all. However, in this case I felt that Previn actually impeded the performance from being what it could have been. What are your thoughts on a critic’s role in a concert after catastrophe?

National Gallery Rotunda shapes up superbly for new music, by Stephen Brookes.

Uneven but satisfying “Butterfly,” by Charles T. Downey, who reviewed the young-artist performance of WNO’s production.

Venzago, Skride join the BSO at Strathmore, by Joan Reinthaler.

By  |  12:54 AM ET, 03/21/2011

 
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