Monday, March 13, 2006

Levine out for the count. What next?

The classical blogosphere is buzzing, more so than usual, about the news that James Levine injured himself and is going to be out for a while. This is the NYT piece (registration required). Tragedy of tragedies, Levine won't be able to conduct his Good Friday Parsifal. Interested New Yorkers might be spared a four-hour wallow, given only three-and-a-half or even (as Boulez did at Bayreuth) a three-hour tour.

I suppose that this will give Peter Gelb some time to think about those whom he would like to see replace Levine as Music Director at the Met. I, personally, think Daniel Barenboim would be the best choice. He'll have free time, as his Chicago gig is over, and his work at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden proves that he is a great opera conductor. Frankly, I think the Met should embrace the German repertoire in which Barenboim excels. Their slight propensity toward the soppy and Italian might sell well in New York, but it's still a bore. I don't know, though, if they want a star conductor who will - at best - only give about half his time to the place. I don't care all that much, in any event, who they get as long as they don't get Thielemann. As much as it pains me to say this, he can have the Deutschen Oper and even Bayreuth, but it will kill me if he gets New York. The man cannot conduct.

Frankly, Levine has had nearly thirty years on top. He doesn't look well, and this injury might make his increasingly-poor podium performance even worse. He should take this opportunity to retire or assume some emeritus position. Let someone else have the throne. This king has had his day.


Post a Comment

<< Home