nytimes reviewer blogs about kaplan concert, review

Steve Smith, music editor for Time Out New York and a freelance reviewer who often writes classical music reviews for the New York Times, writes about his review of the Gilbert Kaplan led performance of Mahler 2 with the New York Philharmonic here.  Interesting reading, and it shows how critical a missing sentence can be in the course of composing a piece of criticism.  Plus it has the best ever blog post title: Todtenfubar.  Ausgezeichnet!

And, on a side note – our own OSO bass trombonist Charley Reneau posted a comment to Norman Lebrecht’s blog entry on his use of “trombone” rather than “trombonist” to refer to David Finlayson.  Major point scored, Charley!  And Lebrecht, to his credit, responded graciously.

2 Replies to “nytimes reviewer blogs about kaplan concert, review”

  1. I LOVE the trombone. Sometimes, I affectionately refer to it as a T-Bone and how a particularly virile workout on this magnificent instrument gives me a T-Boner.

    Now, when I want to slag the performance of a specific trombonist after a singularly limp rendition of a given tune (take Berio’s “Sequenza V” for example), I trot out the ultimate trombonist insult by referring to him/her as a trombone-head.

    Finally, when I find the need to rag on a given trombonist while, at the same time, roping the entire brass section into the put-down, I say that he/she is behaving like a typical “brasshole.”

    OK, OK, basta.

    BTW, the great trombonist, Stuart Dempster, is a personal friend and he finds great pleasure in the many “subtle” distinctions I’ve noted above.


  2. Way to go Charley – an articulate response and a gracious rejoinder from NL himself. I think a lot of us are guilty of calling musicians by their instruments and it’s for reasons that I find hard to explain. The instrument has a kind of dignity (trombone, viola, piano) which somehow the English noun for the instrumentalist seems to lack (trombonist, violist, pianist -although the last is more widely accepted.) Is it the sense of diminution, the way Italians take their nouns and make little nounets?
    Anyway, you made some great points and when we do Mahler 2 let me assure you Carlos will be conducting.



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