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Telling It Like It Is

Crossover imagined as toxic wasteIf you read nothing else in today's paper, take a look at the incisive and deadly accurate hatchet job by Anne Midgette on the latest Classical Lite program from the Baltimore Symphony (BSO's Half-Baked Slice of Americana, February 4):

The Baltimore concert, heard Friday night, led from the nascence of crossover (Ellington) to what it has become for many musicians. O'Connor, who performed his own piece, evidently subscribes to the idea that classical music is supposed to have big ideas. His piece grandiosely addresses the four seasons and the seven ages of man, but with a facile approach -- it boils down to a few different fiddling styles -- that amounts to Hallmark sentiment writ self-importantly large. It is notable that the prime of life, the serious years of middle age, were represented by the most "classical" style of playing. Listeners may be relieved to know, however, that old age represents a respite in the form of Celtic fiddling.
I nearly spit coffee onto my keyboard several times, but this is not merely vitriolic, it is right on the money. Marin Alsop should be ashamed of herself. Hopefully, the BSO at least made some money off this program.

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