vendredi 28 décembre 2012

Worst of 2012, if I may ??

My reviews are available in I have to pay tribute to the staff at Concertonet to offer freedom in writing, to regularly check if our facts are validated (No Lebrechtism here) and to maintain a site which at more than 25 thousands readers worldwide must be among the most read musical magazines on the web.

I would therefore let a curious reader see the cases where I was unhappy but wanted to tell a story which I did not mentioned in Concertonet. The Swiss Romande Orchestra's former music director Marek Janowski has regularly played Bruckner and has recorded on Pentatone a cycle which has been receiving glowing reviews.

He played his last concert on November 10 of this year with Bruckner's 4th Symphony in a private concert for the United Nations. I attended as a guest. This was the worst audience I ever experienced. Coughing, page turning, people talking, ..., all was there. At the beginning of the Scherzo, I asked a couple to stop behaving so badly and take example on my 14 years old son who was showing respect and politeness to audience and musicians alike.

This is not typical of the usual Victoria Hall audience. This may be typical of UN guests.

This is really a shame because the concert really began well. In such conditions (and I could see players glancing angrily at the audience more than a few times), the performance lost focus and even the usually strong instrumental level left to be desired.

I feel really bad because Janowski's last concert should have been a case for celebration. He improved the level of the orchestra and expanded their repertory. The CDs he did with the orchestra will stay, not only the Bruckner but also the Bartok violin concertos with Arabella Steinbacher as well as a French program of rare works fom Chausson, D'Indy and Saint-Saëns.

But a good concert means good works, good musicians and a good audience. The latter was really not  there on this occasion?

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