‘He should have got the Berlin Phil in the first place…’main
The Spectator magazine thrives on turning the clock back. Here’s its associate editor, Damian Thompson:
…who knows what might have happened if the Berlin Philharmonic hadn’t chosen Rattle instead of Barenboim? Sir Simon is coming back to London in 2017. And bear in mind that Claudio Abbado gave the greatest concerts of his career as he was being eaten away by cancer in his seventies. Surely there’s still time to give the Berlin job to the man who should have got it in the first place.
Full article here.
UPDATE: For the other side of the argument, why Barenboim would be wrong for the job, click here.
The case for Barenboim isn’t very strong, if you ask me.
Lots of scattered thoughts.
“Claudio Abbado gave the greatest concerts of his career as he was being eaten away by cancer in his seventies”
Which begs the question: why didn’t/couldn’t Abbado achieve his best results while MD of Berlin? did being the MD of Berlin help Abbado’s later artistic development or could he have had more productive years elsewhere? all leading to the question:
For an artist of Abbado’s caliber, is it better to have Berlin or not to have Berlin?
People are too obsessed with why one man should conduct this particular group of people. They have guest conductors. Abbado did a lot of great things – like Barenboim, in his own way – but what do people expect? A slower tempo here, darker there – it’s madness. Enjoy someone as music director, or as a guest conductor. It’s not like some single musical truth lies behind the work of one conductor with one set of people. If they can’t sell themselves as well in front of at least one other group, they don’t belong there. So, why can’t they be at NYPO, LSO, or wherever? Can still have a “Digital Concert Hall” wherever you go.
Simon has shaken that orchestra out of their small norrow box of repertoire and thinking, an excellent orchestra as they are, and that can only be for the good – both for them as human beings and for the good of music. Simon has ruled more by consensus than dictating. I’m a great admirer of Barenboim, but not sure that now the orchestra has developed in mind and spirit, that Barenboim would be the right person but not because of his age or ability. As they say, you can’t put the toothpaste back into the tube – and start go backwards.