Your favorite conductor sucks.
September 23, 2008 9:13 AM   Subscribe

“Another Rosenberg Executed”? Classical music critic Donald Rosenberg may be the reigning expert on the Cleveland Orchestra, having written an entire book on the esteemed ensemble. But failure to fawn over conductor Franz Welser Most has gotten him booted off his newspaper’s classical music beat. People are beginning to notice…

Of course, there is the usual Arts/Sports double standard at work: the newspaper doesn't seem to mind if sports columnist Terry Pluto trashes Cleveland Browns quarterback Derek Anderson, or the Indians.
posted by Faze (16 comments total)

 
Of course, there is the usual Arts/Sports double standard at work: the newspaper doesn't seem to mind if sports columnist Terry Pluto trashes Cleveland Browns quarterback Derek Anderson, or the Indians

Maybe the orchestra is having a better year?
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 9:30 AM on September 23, 2008


When we lived in Cleveland my wife would get cheap student tickets to the Orchestra all the time. We would usually be sitting in one of the first three rows, which, sure, doesn't sound as good but makes for much more interesting watching - we had nicknames for all the front-row musicians.

I suspect the median age of the orchestra-goers on a typical night was 69.5. Whenver FW-M would bring out something even vaguely modern (let alone post-) the crowd would either grumble or fall asleep. (Or grumble in their sleep). And by 'vaguely modern' I mean, like, Sibelius.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 9:57 AM on September 23, 2008


Also comparing the fact that a Cleveland music critic is no longer allowed to write about an orchestra to the Red Scare motivated killings of the Rosenberg's isn't precisely offensive, but it's such a stretch as to be ludicrous.

The bank charged me for cashing a check yesterday. My name is Max. Max Mosley was accused of having a Nazi-themed orgy. Need I point out the obvious similarities?

posted by Astro Zombie at 10:16 AM on September 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


All your links are borked.

And Harvey Sachs, whoever he is, should be ashamed beyond words at his shitty, shitty blogpost title. Losing a job is not being "executed."

Nor was Donald Rosenberg persecuted, in my opinion. I found his pieces unengaging, even by Plain Dealer standards. If I were the arts editor, I would have taken him off the orchestra beat also. Wilma Salisbury is a far more interesting writer.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:17 AM on September 23, 2008


the Red Scare motivated killings of the Rosenbergs

Although the Red Scare probably was responsible for the severity of the punishment, it should be pointed out that Julius Rosenberg was actually guilty.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:19 AM on September 23, 2008


That's why I don't consider the parallel offensive; just absurd.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:20 AM on September 23, 2008


Look people, either way.. Franz SUCKS. Shitty conductor. Have seen him multiple times with the orchestra. They are a total SNOOZER. Franz's claim to fame is that he cries when he conducts Mahler. But beyond that he conducts with the emotional power of a rock. You hear me? A ROCK!
posted by ChickenringNYC at 10:24 AM on September 23, 2008


I think a lot of people cry when he conducts Mahler. Baby jesus, for example.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:38 AM on September 23, 2008


Complaining that a conductor is not visually engaging enough to the audience is like complaining that a painter doesn't hum loud enough while painting.

That some people find watching someone conduct to be entertaining is all well and good, but it is an unintentional side effect of the conductor's main purpose.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:58 AM on September 23, 2008


The Cleveland Orchestra is worth hearing even with a middling conductor. Those strings! They make all other string sections sound like Gid Tanner and his Skillet Lickers. Personally, I'd like see former assistant conductor James Gaffigan in the post. As previous music director Christoph Von Dohnanyi said at the time when they were searching for his replacement, "Can't they find an American to do this job?" (or something to that effect).
posted by Faze at 11:21 AM on September 23, 2008


1) Gid Tanner and his Skillet Lickers could kick the ass of the CSO
2) Classical music needs a federal bailout
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:12 PM on September 23, 2008


(that was said in a joking tone, I swear)
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:13 PM on September 23, 2008


> Maybe the orchestra is having a better year?

The Cleveland has never--never--fumbled a snap or thrown an INT.


> I suspect the median age of the orchestra-goers on a typical night was 69.5.

In that case some of them may actually have heard the orchestra under Szell--which is about like having actually watched Jim Brown take handoffs for the Browns. Fairly or not, comparisons like those don't tend to make later stick wavers or running backs look their best.
posted by jfuller at 3:43 PM on September 23, 2008


In that case some of them may actually have heard the orchestra under Szell--which is about like having actually watched Jim Brown take handoffs for the Browns.

Some people have done both (my in-laws, for instance)!
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:35 PM on September 23, 2008


it should be pointed out that Julius Rosenberg was actually guilty.

then they only killed one innocent person! that's remarkable!
posted by matteo at 10:18 AM on September 24, 2008


then they only killed one innocent person! that's remarkable!

Yep, just like Sacco and Vanzetti. US government seems to bat .500 in these high-profile Red Scare execution things. Not good enough.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:42 PM on September 24, 2008


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