Classic New York Times tautology

The Times headline on a report of the death of Georges Pretre:

Georges Prêtre, French Conductor Known for Interpretation, Dies at 92

 

Now what else would he be known for – the colour of his socks?

Apart from that, Michael Cooper’s prompt report is faultless.

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  • You’d think it would be obvious that a conductor would be “known for interpretation.” However, we all know that conductors can be more famous for other things. For example, here is the NY Times obituary for Karajan: http://tinyurl.com/zdfvvj8

  • Funny you should ask. To answer, here are the NYT’s previous obituary headlines for famous conductors:

    – “Herbert von Karajan … Musical Perfectionist”
    – “Leonard Bernstein…Music’s Monarch”
    – “Carlos Kleiber … Music’s Perfectionist Recluse”
    – “Claudio Abbado … Conductor With a Global Reach”
    – “Pierre Boulez, Music’s Uncompromising Modernist”
    – “Neville Marriner, a Prolific Musician and Acclaimed Conductor”

    Voilà, what else besides interpretation a conductor could be known for.

    • When the NYT first published their announcement of Boulez’s death, the headline referred to him as an eminent composer. (They did change it to include conductor.)

    • And yet that epithet for Kleiber was wrong anyway; he maintained a wide circle of friends, either by phone or correspondence, until the day before he died.

  • I don’t think the headline is as meaningless as some; it’s just incomplete. He was known for his unusual interpretation of standard repertoire. The Times understandably shortened the headline.

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