Critical reviews

I won’t have a word said against S-S-Simon Rattle.

But here’s one, by Alex Bruggemann (Die Welt am Sonntag, 2004), about a concert he gave with the Berlin Phil. Indeed, I found it posted with uncharitable glee on the notice board of the Chicago Symphony when we were doing a gig at Symphony Hall—our stay in Chicago another welcome opportunity to slope off to bars afterwards to hear some amazing blues.

I cite from the review not as an endorsement, you understand, but for the charm of the image:

While Rattle romps expressively on the podium, the Philharmonic musicians sometimes tend to play as inconsequentially as if they were a wife reaching to the fridge to get out a beer for her husband.

No pleasing some people. It was just a phase they were going through.

A more inadvertent critique was offered by a Radio 3 announcer introducing Brahms’s Tragic overture:

We don’t know which particular tragedy Brahms had in mind when he composed this overture. … But here it is, conducted by Richard Hickox.

4 thoughts on “Critical reviews

  1. Philharmonic musicians sometimes tend to play as inconsequentially as if they were a wife reaching to the fridge to get out a beer for her husband. That is waspish but not very elegant. I am disconcerted by the plural of ‘they’ and the singular of ‘her’ but I see that an argument can be made for it. My wife, as I reach for yet another beer from the freezer rather than the fridge -it is very hot here – says that I welcome constructive criticism as long as it presents itself as unstinting praise. I have spent 20 years with that woman. As my Irish friend Liz Chow said “you’d get less for murder”.

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  2. And not even time off for good behaviour… Good to know you’re even more of a stickler for Grammer than wot I am—yes, I think I would make a case for it. Nor was I so pedantic as to go back to the original German. Cheers!

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  3. Pingback: Mozart in the jungle | Stephen Jones: a blog

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