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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001082.txt from 2002/06

From: w7wright@-----.net (William Wright)
Subj: Re: [kl] Re: Critical language
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 18:33:03 -0400

....and when I think back about it, perhaps a year ago the local
newspaper printed a blistering review of a locally-produced musical
which (imo) wasn't that badly done. I don't remember which show, but
it was one of the mainstream Broadway shows. The review stirred up
many _angry_ letters to the editor, such that the newspaper felt it
necessary to print two or three of them. I've wondered whether this
firestorm had any effect on reviews of subsequent performances.

But again, my point is that a person reads the newspaper for the sake of
information. When the 'information' involves value judgements which
can be disputed and which can, under certain circumstances, destroy or
help to destroy a local organization, where should you draw the line?
It seems to me that the amount of applause is easier to measure and
describe than an artist's technique, but is audience reaction relevant
to a performance's quality, given that some audiences over-applaud just
to hear themselves applaud or under-applaud because they won't open
their minds?

It woud be interesting to hear comments from performers, professional or
amateur, on this list.

A concerto performance is basically a one-time event, and we don't read
a review of it afterwards in order to decide whether to buy a ticket.
It's already history that cannot be repeated. In this sense, it's not
valid to compare the review of a concerto with reviews of Broadway shows
or films (which run for weeks and ticket sales will be affected).

Newspapers face this sort of question in other arenas as well --- when
do you risk panic by publishing threats, etc? Basically, it's not a
new question, nor is it a question restricted to performance reviews
alone.

Cheers,
Bill

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