The Real Cleveland Orchestra Reviews

On June 20th I wrote here about a very negative “overview” article that the Plain Dealer’s music critic Donald Rosenberg wrote about the 2004/05 Cleveland Orchestra season. He really ripped into Franz Welser-Möst. This week in the mail I received from the Cleveland Orchestra themselves, with a cover letter from Gary Hanson, the Executive Director, a compilation of reviews from the orchestra’s recent West Coast tour. This is significant, because Rosenberg quoted passages from several of the reviews to prove his point about Franz’s inadequacy.

What one finds, however, when the reviews are read in their entirety is that Rosenberg very carefully selected a few phrases out of context in an attempt to prove his point. The reviews are, in fact, extremely laudatory. The review from the Los Angeles Times is thought-provoking and points out some individualistic aspects of Franz’s interpretations, but it was still a highly favorable review.

It is clear that the management of the Cleveland Orchestra is trying to get the full information to their subscriber and donor base. They have also set up an email list for the orchestra’s European tour in August in which the orchestra will mail the reviews the next day to list subscribers. It is another example of how technology is changing how information is conveyed. We are no longer dependent on the filter of a single local newspaper critic. Now it is possible for many people to see directly what others are reporting. As Martha Stewart would say, “This is a good thing.”

[tags]Cleveland Orchestra, music, Franz Welser-Möst, Plain Dealer, review, criticism[/tags]