There’s a fascinating essay in OpenLettersMonthly, a Boston-based publication, that outlines the inadequacy of musical reviews and analysis and offers a cogent alternative.
Using Charles Rosen’s latest book as groundbass, Greg Waldmann illustrates how, with selective recourse to Youtube, the understanding of music can be illuminated by recourse to that bottomless resource known as Youtube. Instead of theorising in 500 words, a reviewer can produce a ten-second video example that makes the point … and move on.
Bad reviewing exists because listeners cannot challenge it from memory. A recent attack on a singer in Brussels could have been instantly refuted had the opera house loaded the performance online overnight, instead of two weeks later.
But that day will soon be upon us. And when it dawns, a lot of bad critics will be put out of business.
Read Gregg’s essay here. And be amazed, as I was, at some of his clips. Moura Lympany: who’d have known?