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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001132.txt from 2002/06

From: "rien stein" <rstein@-----.nl>
Subj: [kl] Re: critical language
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2002 17:38:18 -0400

William Wright wrote

<<
Now that the "music vs. drug testing" thread is over (?), let's talk
about music critics.

[snip]

The review? Heaps of praise from first word to the last. Not a
single mention of what really happened in the audience. Did the critic
attend the same concert that I did?

[snip]

Does a critic have an obligation to document the audience reaction
regardless of the cause?

My feeling is that an honest critic would've written something about it
--- perhaps adding his own opinion as to whether the orchestra messed up
or perhaps the audience was uneducated. On the other hand, negative
reviews (of either the orchestra or the audience) can destroy ticket
sales for worthwhile organizations, and my town has lost two of them in
the past few years.
>>

It happened at least 25 years ago. The most famous Dutch violin player,
Herman Krebbers, was coming to Utrecht to play the Beethoven concerto op 61.
In an interview on TV I happened to see just a few days before that date it
was said that in the course of the years his interpretation of Beethoven's
concerto had deepened a lot. Whether Mr Krebbers had quarrelled with his
wife before going to Utrecht (the distance from Amsterdam to Utrecht is only
30 km), was thinking about buying a new boat, or simply felt a great disdain
to play before a non-Amsterdamian audience, I don't know, but he played so
uninspired, so on routine, it was terrible.

But of course most people in the audience don't know much about music, so
whithin seconds after the last note everyone (nearly) in the audience was
standing upright, giving him a standing ovation.

Also the review in the local paper the next day was very approving.

But when I met the author of the review and asked him about it he admitted:
"You are right. But when people have payed so much for their ticket of
course I cannot write that it was mere bullshit." I think he should have
said the truth in his review.

Of course a review always is a personal opinion. I am even more aware of
that now I occasionally write cd reviews for "De klarinet" myselves. But
experiencing warm feelings towards a bad player doesn't make him a better
player. I can say David Glenn is a very fine player of clarinet, because I
played with him, even though I am but an amateur. I cannot say Dan Leeson
is, as I never heard him, though because of the thinkful postings on this
list I think he has a great knowledge of the instrument and its music. I can
say Herman Krebbers was a very great player of the violin (due to an
accident he cannot play anymore), because I heard him in the radio and on
records. But I still think that reviewer sgould have the courage to write
this concert was a failure. Can happen to anyone, I am sure some people on
this list will look back with disdain to some of their concertoes. And yet
are convinced they are fine players.

For what is worth.

Rien

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