A dyspeptic rant by a non-critic after a chamber music concert in Oregon is gaining an inordinate amount of attention. Tristan Bliss, a local composer, went along in a bad mood and came away feeling worse.
Basically, he only wants to hear stuff in a concert he has never heard before. So he laid into the programme and declared it boring, vacant and unnecessary. Read here. It’s worth your attention if you’ve ever felt the same.
Tristan (yes, that name has been used before) Bliss (that one, too) does, however, make a telling point: ‘What do concert reviews review? Is that what you wanted reviewed? Well, that’s what I saw to review.’
He’s right. Often we are amazed that critics find anything at all to say about a concert where everything was familiar, unremarkable, routine. I have seen critics chew the inside of their cheeks til they bled for something worthwhile to say. It’s no wonder that concert reviews are among the least-read bits of your failing daily newspaper.
Maybe Tristan has a point: maybe we should stop reviewing the same old, same old, all over and over again.
Maybe we should leave Carnegie Hall, Royal Festival Hall, the Philharmonie and Musikverein unreviewed?
What do you think?