Freedom of speech is all very well, but diatribe? Philip Kennicott's scathing, unbridled attack on the National Symphony Orchestra's Jan. 13 program ["The Misbegotten 'Moon,' " Style, Jan. 14], and especially on the composer, Michael Kamen, went well beyond the norm. Was it necessary to use the words "cheap," "sodden," "horrible bore," "pernicious," "theft," to name a few choice samples of his critical style? Whatever happened to objectivity and the art of establishing a little distance?

I wonder how many seats remained empty the day following this review. And how many artists experienced the chill of temporary paralysis.

--Cicely Angleton

Music critic Philip Kennicott suggests we extirpate the Kamen "weeds" that the NSO performed earlier this month. I found the theatrical Kamen work blossomed beautifully and expect it to be performed as much as Copland's works epitomizing Americana. Pour the weed killer on Philip Kennicott.

--Deni Foster

I would like to thank Philip Kennicott for laying out the reason many of us have declined to subscribe to the NSO the past several seasons, i.e., Leonard Slatkin's inclusion of dreadful newly commissioned works in NSO programs. The only positive note is that my husband and I met so many lovely music lovers in the lobby while this nonsense was played.

--Joan S. Doherty