Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Painful Review

This review by Julien Jourdes in the New York Times is pretty harsh. You know these students must be really good to get a master class with such luminaries. Do you really want to encourage your child to pursue a career in music?
How do these young people react to this kind of criticism after a performance which must have been HUGE in their lives?
Three duos performed Brahms at Weill Recital Hall on Saturday night. All were beneficiaries of weeklong workshops and master classes led by Emanuel Ax, David Zinman and Richard Stoltzman. Brahms’s linkage of piano to either violin, cello or clarinet was the subject matter.

It is difficult to talk about the public concerts that follow such events without knowing what these young musicians wanted from them. Were they a final examination, part of the course? Or were these full-fledged advertisements for careers to come? If the six musicians I heard were simply taking home information helpful in serving their communities, gratifying themselves and teaching others, every performance on Saturday was a success. If grander aspirations were at play, none seemed quite ready for them.

...As a critic, I came away wishing I had been turned away at the door and asked to come back in five years.

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