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  • Peter Jackson
    October 01, 2013 - 09:12

    Some clarification: First, the author here is Jean Snook. She has been our music critic for some time. Her name was inadvertently omitted from the online article. Second, I did not say the NSO is the best orchestra in Canada. I said it was *one* of the best, which, given its semi-professional capacity, I believe is true. Third, I regret that a few people felt my remarks were inappropriate or "fell flat." The people who approached me afterwards were not of that opinion. Finally, I'm glad readers feel inclined to question the quality of a review or a performance. It's the sign of a healthy concert-going community. As a former music critic myself, however, I realize how hard it is to be brutally honest in such a small town. I think Jean has managed to navigate the need for both truthfulness and encouragement quite admirably.

  • Maggy Carter
    October 01, 2013 - 00:49

    I must admit that I am, at once, perplexed, amused and bored by this article. It helps perhaps in a way that I don't know who wrote it - but I assume it was someone associated with the NSO. As for being perplexed, I refer principally to the second paragraph ..."If a sponsor is going to indulge in prurient speculation, he should probably not be handed the microphone." For those not in attendance (and perhaps even for those who were), this is ostensibly a cryptic reference to the on-stage monologue from Peter Jackson - representing the Telegram which sponsored the event. Peter delivered an admittedly bizarre historical aside on the love triangle involving Johannes Brahms, Clara Shumann and Robert Shumann. The author obviously found these comments a bit risque - given particularly the presence of a large number of school children. I'm not sure the kids would have understood or cared much about Jackson's comments. That said, they did fall flat and really added nothing to the performance. But if we're to be fair, the same might be said of this article. It borders on the pedantic – typical, I think, of the pretentiousness which pervades this segment of the music industry as a whole. There are other perplexing things about this column - among them the penultimate sentence ...."The Arts and Culture Centre is now scent-free, as it should be, but I did feel something was missing at the end". For this alone, the author should be forced to pay a special syntax. But ignoring the oddly positioned 'scent-free' advisory for a moment, I do agree that 'something was missing at the end' - the end of the concerto and the end of the article both. That isn't in any way to be dismissive of the NSO or pianist Angela Cheng. The first is a very competent organization - though perhaps not, as Peter asserted, the best orchestra in Canada (nor would I expect it to be). The latter is a very talented performer and yet I thought her rendition of the first movement rather lacklustre. (Perhaps Brahms should have thrown it away with his other failed first attempts.) While I appreciate that music is very much in the ear of the beholder, this performance was not one of the better I have attended.