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.
7 thoughts on “Critical reviews”
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”.
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!
Thing is, the image will, um, strike a chord with orchestral musos, though most would rather see it applied to certain less talented conductors than S-S-Simon…
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