Thursday, January 04, 2007

No surprises, save one.

I had honestly expected rather more from Alex Ross, not that that the music critic of The New Yorker cares what the proprietor of The Penitent Wagnerite expects of him, nor - in fairness - should he, than the surprise over the antediluvian hiring practices of the Wiener Philharmoniker. I thought that everyone knew about the gender gap in the Musikvereinsaal and the Staatsoper.

Certainly, even I have heard about the Sabine Meyer affair. The Berliner Philharmoniker proved that they cared more about their all-male tradition than they did about Herr von Karajan and his choice for clarinet. Von Karajan proved that he didn't need Berlin as much as they might have assumed he did. The orchestra hasn't been right since he left. Certainly not under Rattle.

However, Norman Lebrecht took seemingly everyone to task in an article dated 7 October 2002. I'll remind everyone, as the bilious Mr. Lebrecht does, that the Viennese canned Gustav Mahler. That might say something about their prescience in personnel matters. Of course, and I speak from experience here, all-male institutions tend to guard that part of their identity very closely. Other institutions can take other parts of the identity of an all-male group, but they can never really take the single-sex character and traditions appurtenant thereto.

It's a pride thing. Trust me on this one. My college is one of only two strictly all-male institutions left in the United States (well, three, but that one is a special case).


At 2:36 AM, Blogger Terry said...

I've returned. Off to a slow start.

And, if you wish to be a guest contributor to the blog, to class the place up a bit, feel free. That could make things fun.

At 11:32 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Smith said...

So I see.

I could never impose on another blogger, especially when I have my own little fiefdom over here.

At 2:18 PM, Blogger Terry said...

Indeed. But, the offer does stand.

At 4:50 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Smith said...

We'll see.

There is at least one other member of the class of 2008 at least as deserving as me.

From what I've seen and been told, you two could give the Sartorialist a run for his classy money.

At 9:07 PM, Anonymous Terry said...

Ah! I'm glad to see you two had a productive conversation. In fact, I think I'll invite him to blog as well. That'll give the Contrapuntal a real contrapuntal feel.

At 11:50 AM, Blogger Patrick J. Smith said...

Indeed. Productive.

I, for one, would like to see the results of Kultur and couture playing off each other.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger Terry said...

Well then, encourage him to join the staff, along with yourself. I think that would be a most appropriate duo.

At 3:33 AM, Blogger Patrick J. Smith said...

I'll do it if he does it.

How's that?

At 2:56 PM, Blogger Terry said...

I'll badger him again.

At 4:40 PM, Blogger Terry said...

I believe Mr. Harris has decided to join...which means, we should count you in as well.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger Patrick J. Smith said...

A deal's a deal, such as it ever is with either of us.

At 12:18 AM, Blogger Terry said...


Finally getting to hear the Reiner Tristan with Melchior and Flagstad.


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