Thursday, November 21, 2013

I'm Not Naming Names

I actually don't have to, because it seems that the bulk e-mail message I got yesterday from a well-known and well-respected conductor (at least a conductor I respected prior to receiving this message) could have come from any one of a thousand people. This message lauded a particular soloist (could be any instrument--I'm not naming names) as "the most exciting __________ alive today."

I was intrigued, so I looked the soloist up on YouTube and found this person (I'm not giving away gender) to be one of the most tasteless musicians I have ever heard. I could even venture to say that s/he is the most tasteless musician alive today, but because I limit my exposure to such players, I am (thankfully) not in a position to make such judgements.

It really bothers me that conductors feel the need to sell concerts the way some people sell cars. It also bothers me that the people new to "classical music" who buy the hype and go to the concert will echo the sentiments of the sales pitch even if the playing has left a bad taste in their collective mouths.

This kind of publicity shows a lack of respect to listeners, and I believe it ultimately thwarts the greater efforts of musicians who devote their lives to trying to play tastefully.

I do know that the city where this conductor conducts has a lively set of musical offerings, and some of them come from tasteful musicians. I hope that fewer and fewer of them buy the used cars hype that this individual is trying to sell, and go spend their leisure dollars elsewhere.

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