Gelb and Yannick: So happy together

Gelb and Yannick: So happy together


norman lebrecht

April 08, 2018

The general manager and music director of the Met stage a phoney Youtube conversation, full of superlatives and mutual admiration.

There is, however, one interesting moment when Yannick discusses technique.

Here’s a more unbuttoned Yannick:


  • Caravaggio says:

    The conversation is so scripted, stiff and strained, as if YN-S was taken hostage and forced to issue statements under coercion.

  • anon says:

    Gelb: “I’m with my artistic partner…”

    Whoa, Gelb, you are neither artist nor artistic peer of YNS, you’re an advertising salesman.

  • Marcus says:

    I didn’t feel that YNS came across as scripted or stiff, but Gelb did.
    To me, YNS was very sincere and humble.
    This is obviously part of what is going to be a full out press barrage touting YNS as the new music director of the Met. No doubt that Gelb and the board want YNS to be adored and approved of by the Met’s major donors in the wake of the Levine scandal and dismissal.
    There Met is in dire need of some new musical leadership and I am glad they chose YNS. Time for everyone to move on with YNS!

    • Jay kauffman says:

      The orchestra LOVES him and that counts for a lot in getting results. The worst relationship an orchestra can have for a conductor is lack of respect

    • Mark says:

      The Met could have selected a much better conductor than the Tiny Canadian Hotdog.
      Antonio Pappano and Semyon Bychkov were interested, but nobody even talked to them.
      Gelb wanted a puppy who’d jump at his command, so he got one.

      • Jay kauffman says:

        You haven’t the slightest evidence to support that statement and Nezet Seguin has given us always interesting and often superb performances Carmen Parsifal and Elektra for example. He is conductor not only of achievement but promise to debase and generalize his work by calling him a lapdog is absurd and not worthy of further comment

        • Mark says:

          @Jay Kauffman – I know quite a lot about the conditions attached to his appointment, but I can’t reveal anything here. Suffice it to say, my statement about him being Gelb’s puppy is not a random one …

          • Jay kauffman says:

            As far as I can concerned anyone who uses the 1950s term homo is so backwards and so bigoted and small anything they say cannot be trusted. You are beneath contempt. Go back to watching Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham. Let the grownups alone

          • Mark says:

            @Jay – that’s a USSR-style logic. You don’t like a word I use (we still have the 1st Amendment, thankfully), so that refutes the (extensive) information I have about all the stings attached to his employment ? Well done, kid, you are definitely the adult in the room (eye room)

          • Mark says:

            *Eye Roll

          • Jay kauffman says:

            Yes thank God for the First Amrndment because it shows all of us exactly the kind of person you are and it’s not a pretty picture. As for all of your supposed evidence that you can’t show us that s right out of Fox News and doesn’t get very far withi rational people. One of the life lessons I learned when I was in prep was the theory of economy of effort which in your case means don’t waste time arguing with a fool. So just keep fantasizing about Yannick and try not to be too jealous of his success. It’s bad for your health

        • Caravaggio says:

          Jay Kaufmann, those Elektras were hardly a success, not by a long margin. YN-S conducted the orchestra in a too loud and relentless manner that sounded more like survival than great music making. Just as bad if not worse was the woman singing the title character which was an abject failure.

          • Yes Addison says:

            Was her voice “now smaller, whiter and more apt to stray from pitch”? Did she create “a distanced reading of that tortured role, a series of calculations rather than a matter of spontaneity,” “a regal, aloof matron and not a creature possessed”? Did the conductor’s reading come “perilously close, in places, to slackness,” so that you “never felt an intensity or the cumulative power of the score”?

            Those are excerpts from an _Opera_ review of one of the Nilsson/Levine performances in 1980. It only goes to show that some people like and some people dislike just about anything. There were, in fact, some raves for the same series of performances, as there were for the Goerke/YNS performances.

      • msc says:

        Thanks! I get to have a large shot of bourbon every time you use that already tired “Hotdog” line. Keep it up: when my wife asks me why I’m drunk, I can blame you.
        You’re not going to get anyone else using it, by the way, so just give up. Or maybe you could try a Trumpian “Hotdog Yannick”.
        Finally, how big are you, that you seem so concerned with YN-S’s height? Are you jealous?

        • jay kauffman says:

          Remarks like that say more about the poster than the subject. Petty and small minded – nuff said.

        • The View from America says:

          You’re being charitable when you think he’s obsessed with YNS’s height … when he’s more likely obsessing about some other part of the anatomy …

        • The View from America says:

          We’re all so impressed with your name-calling.

          What’s more, we’re quite sure YNS’s “little hotdog” can’t begin to measure up to your “polish sausage” …

  • Sharon says:

    I wonder if this segment will appear in an Opera in HD presentation. Gelb always seems buttoned up.

    As far as Yannick is concerned, I am no musician but his “dancing” and exagerated movements just seem like more of the same bling that the Met does with all its expensive moving props and scenery. It may actually detract attention from the music. Maybe if I could read music or had more of an understanding I would feel differently but this type of showmanship obscures the soul of the music, at least for me. Sometimes G*d or grace is found in the “still, small voice.

    • V.Lind says:

      Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn’t. Some people consider very still conductors “wooden” or insufficiently connected to the music. That’s aesthetic. Shut your eyes and listen — that’s how you can judge (your own) response to how a score is played. Yes, some conductors’ podium performances can irritate, but people do things differently from each other.

      I’ve been to several Y N-S concerts, and I have to admit he did not affect me visually — they were so exciting musically that I barely noticed hi, except to note that he was getting plenty out of his orchestra and soloists.

      As for the Met, give him a chance.

    • Jay kauffman says:

      Did you feel the same way about Bernstein. As for his conducting technique who cares???? Just shut your eyes and listen to the result

    • Harry Levy says:

      A portion of this was on the Cosi HD transmission

  • William Safford says:

    Maybe it’s good to get them out of their shells….

    Imagine me and you, I do
    I think about you day and night
    It’s only right
    To think about the girl* you love
    And hold her tight
    So happy together….

    *In this case, the Met.

  • Anthony Kershaw says:

    Wait ‘till the Levine suit and the discovery process gets through with Gelb. There’ll be nout left!

  • Jory Vinikour says:

    I’ve had the privilege of playing under YNS’ direction four times. All I can say is that he is a tremendous musician, serious, driven, hardworking. He is very demanding, but achieves the highest standard through respect and encouragement. My impression is that YNS is unanimously admired.

  • Ben says:

    I wonder what conductor(s) do all these YNS haters/attackers admire.