Thursday, August 8, 2013


I really did say, prior to the Kronos concert I attended last weekend, that the problem with reviewing the Cabrillo Festival is that anything less than total enthusiasm will be met with vehement denunciation. I was thinking of this review two years ago, which got me told the startling and unearthly news that reviewers have no right to express judgment, a proposition which, if true, would cause the entire reviewing profession to vanish in a puff of logic. What the complainers actually meant, of course, was, "reviewers have no right to disagree with me."

And sure enough, my Kronos review has now been graced with a vehement denunciation by one of those people who thinks he can read, but shows no evidence of actual comprehension. My reply only gets at about half of the illogicalities and misreadings packed into two paragraphs. Clicking on this person's user profile reveals someone who makes a habit of trolling various online boards posting sarcastic denunciatory comments; but if you want sarcasm, you'll get sarcasm.

But it's only Cabrillo, do you notice? In my last Menlo review I slagged off some of the finest chamber musicians on the planet, but nobody complained about that. Say that something is "recurring" at a Cabrillo concert, though, and you must have been totally dismissive of the entire effort. Oo-ee-oo.

Fortunately I had nothing but praise for the performers and everything else in my latest Menlo review. It was almost as intimidating to be sent to review a performance of the whole of Bach's The Art of Fugue as it had been to be sent to review a recital of Bach unaccompanied violin music, but actually this was fun, enjoyable, and - as long as you weren't expected to produce a dissertation on Bach's use of counterpoint - easy to understand. I had a great time, and I hope so did everyone else.

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