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Subject: Re: Gramophone's ranking of the top 20 orchestras
From: Jon Alan Conrad <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Alan Conrad <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 26 Nov 2008 07:17:39 -0500
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On Nov 26, 2008, at 6:26 AM, Neville Sumpter wrote:

> I would hardly call the list "Silly" ! The Gramophone is a most  
> eminent publication and the best of its kind in the world. Perhaps  
> if you read it on a regular basis you would not use the word  
> "Silly" ??

I read it on a regular basis -- have subscribed for years and am  
delighted every time a new issue arrives -- and I understood "silly"  
immediately. It's just that any such list (20 best orchestras, 10 top  
tenors, 5 greatest operas) are always silly self-indulgences. Because  
they're so completely based on the qualities important to a  
particular writer, and that writer's chance experiences; and because  
at this level of excellence, nuances of ranking one above another are  
as arbitrary as one can get.

I still loved reading the article, mind you. And I love making such  
lists myself, for amusements with friends. But I have a sense of  
humor about how little it means in the long run. It's great fun, but  
not much more than that.

Jon Alan Conrad
Department of Music
University of Delaware
[log in to unmask]

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