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In Brief: Palm Sunday Edition

Here is your regular Sunday selection of links to good things in Blogville and Beyond.

  • Here we go again -- as rumored for a couple days, the Board of the Philadelphia Orchestra has voted to take that organization into bankruptcy. As Peter Dobrin has reported, the musicians did their best to convince their audience and the board itself that it was a bad idea. [Philadelphia Inquirer]

  • If this is making you think of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which nearly labor-disputed itself into non-existence, you are not the only one. Speaking of which, Alex Ross called for Mark Stryker to get consideration for a Pulitzer because of his coverage of the strike for the Detroit Free Press. Seconded!

  • Speaking of which, when the DSO finally made it back into the Orchestra Hall, that "acoustic miracle on Woodward," a full audience gave them an ovation to remember. “ 'Now we know how it feels to be at a Lady Gaga concert', Slatkin told the adoring crowd once order was restored." Now, DSO patrons, keep buying tickets regularly, even if Slatkin programs the Turangalîla-Symphonie. [Detroit Free Press]

  • Google celebrated Charlie Chaplin's birthday -- on April 16 -- with a tribute video. Review coming tomorrow about the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's screening of The Gold Rush with a restored version of the film's score. [Tubefilter]

  • So I am reading Thomas Hobbes's Leviathan with a group of students, and we recently discussed how, in the section of the book on language, Hobbes referenced the story of the Tower of Babel, where after the flood God confused the one early language of humans into a multitude of them. There is evidence now that all languages may have descended from one ancestral mother language that came from Africa with the earliest humans. Like all theories, this one will be tested and already has some detractors, like those who feel it is dangerous to speculate on the development of language in the complete absence of any actual record. [Wall Street Journal]

  • With hat tip to Cronaca, just who invented the idea that somewhere back in prehistory, human societies were matriarchal and worshiped "the Goddess"? Cynthia Eller, a women's studies professor at Montclair State University, has the goods on the legend and how it came to be. She blames the credulity of academics, including many in her own discipline, and further posits that no one is served by a distortion of the truth. [Chronicle of Higher Education]

  • As tweeted earlier this week -- Eric Whitacre speaks truth: "I priced myself into a place where [my music] was perceived as more valuable than it was." [Capital New York]


A.C. Douglas said...

As of late yesterday the bankruptcy is a fait accompli. See here.


Charles T. Downey said...

Thanks, ACD -- I knew that (thus the wording of the notice) but have now added the omitted link.

What is one to make of the fact that the orchestra is "expected to list assets at several times liabilities -- an equation unusual for businesses seeking bankruptcy protection, according to several experts"? Is this action mostly about breaking the musicians' contract? Some Philadelphia sources are speculating that the players' salaries may be overly inflated.

A.C. Douglas said...

I don't know any details of what's going on there, and quite frankly, I don't care. I'm just mad as hell about the whole shameful business as you might have gathered from my rant on this matter posted a couple days ago on S&F. I was born and raised in Philly, much of that raising done in the Academy of Music, and so the PO is my "native orchestra", so to speak. The city itself should never have let things come to this pass even if it meant dipping into the public kitty to come up with whatever monies were needed. It's a bloody outrage and a blot on Philadelphia that it didn't.