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Subject: Re: So James Levine is out for the rest of the season for major back surgery.
From: Steven Brown <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Steven Brown <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 7 Apr 2010 13:20:14 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
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text/plain (170 lines)


I agree in principle.. but there must be a sustainable alternative..middle
ground..
Would your point work say..in an athletic analogy



On Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 2:47 AM, FRANCIS IMMLER <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I entirely agree with Marc. But I would go a bit further.
>
> Look, we're not just talking about the MET.
>
> Levine is, quite simply, the foremost living American conductor.
> Surprised?  Name me an alternative.
>
> Before Boston, and in his early years with the MET, he had long-term
> relationships
> with both the Chicago Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Over time,
> he
>
> has turned the MET Orchestra into (arguably) the finest in the country.
> Just
> go to
> one of their Carnegie Hall purely orchestral concerts playing the
> consistently
> arresting, if sometimes thorny (if you're troubled by anything later than
> Debussy)
> programs Levine devises to hear why I say this. The first chairs are at
> least the equal
> of any in the country, at least in my experience of visiting orchestras,
> and
> I do such
> concerts a lot. The virtuosity and enthusiasm of the band is always
> amazing.
>
> I know of no American conductor since Leonard Bernstein who has had his
> combination of musicality, vision, technical accomplishment, communicative
> skills and energy, and sheer chutzpah that has made him such a force in
> American musical life.
>
> It is certainly NOT the time to call for him to step down when he is ill,
> and
> simply because of that. As far as I am concerned, this is blaming the
> victim.
> Like healthy animals circling a sick one. And hideous for people who do not
> think of themselves as animals.
>
> Would YOU want your work colleagues to be thinking of you like this, when
> you
> get sick once again?
>
> As I said before, we NEED him back . Just think of the immense vacuum that
> would ensue upon a sudden departure. I'd think especially Gelb-bashers
> (I not one) should be quaking in their boots.
> Frank/Princeton
> ============================
>
>
> On Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 8:56 PM, Marc Shepherd <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > On 4/6/2010 7:34 PM, C. Chang wrote:
> >
> >> It's been 40 years, for Wotan's sake! Jimmy Levine should leave the MET
> >> while he can still do it on his own terms, like a guest at a late night
> >> party that hasn't yet lost his composure. And nothing will revitalize
> the
> >> MET more than a new music director with tangible powers.
> >>
> >> Frankly, Levine is beginning to tarnish his legacy, because everything
> he
> >> does feel institutionalized now, specially as the novelty of Gelb wears
> >> off.
> >>
> >>
> >
> > I still feel that the nights Levine conducts --- infrequent as they have
> > become --- are among the most musically satisfying that the house has to
> > offer.
> >
> > Even when he was Artistic Director and was not splitting time with the
> BSO,
> > I am not sure how much influence he exerted over casting or repertory,
> aside
> > from the productions he conducted personally. And even in those, he was
> not
> > the kind of conductor who inserted himself into the details of the
> "concept"
> > or /mise en scène./ When Joe Volpe fired Kathleen Battle over his
> > objections, I think it was pretty clear who was wearing the pants.
> >
> > Hence, Levine's legacy comes mainly in the repertory he brought to the
> > house, the consummate skills with which he conducted that repertory, and
> the
> > orchestra he built. I don't see any evidence that /that/ legacy has begun
> to
> > tarnish at all. Whatever you may think about Gelb's leadership, it is not
> an
> > area in which Levine ever would have interfered, even if he were in
> perfect
> > health and had not taken the BSO job.
> >
> > Even in Levine's now-reduced role, I am pleased to have as much of him as
> > he has to give, for as long as he is able. The article in today's /Times/
> > suggests that his two main employers, the Met and the BSO, may have
> reached
> > a point where they are going to tell him, for his own good as well as
> their
> > own, that he needs to do less. But in any case, I cannot imagine Levine
> > withdrawing from the Met (unless his health absolutely forces him to)
> until
> > after the LePage /Ring/ has been given at least one full outing.
> >
> > After that...we'll see.
> >
> >
> > --
> > Marc Shepherd
> > New York, NY
> >
> >
> >
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