The unflappable Tim Smith reports the really, really disheartening news that:
"Don Rosenberg, music critic at the Cleveland Plain Dealer for 16 years, was told yesterday by the paper's editor that he will no longer be covering the famed Cleveland Orchestra. He has been given the option of reviewing other musical events in town, as well as dance. Another writer at the paper, Zack Lewis, was told he will now be orchestra's reviewer."
"Don's musical background is as good as it gets, his evaluations reasoned and sensitive. He has covered the Cleveland Orchestra for nearly three decades (including a stint with another area paper), and he's the author of the definitive book about that orchestra. So what did he do wrong? He has questioned, more than once, the sanctity of the Cleveland Orchestra's music director, Franz Welser-Möst, who started in 2002 and has had his contract renewed a couple times, the last extension taking him all the way to 2018. Don has judged that Welser-Möst is lacking in certain abilities in certain repertoire, that he doesn't necessarily get the best out of music or the eminent ensemble. Yet, Don is also the first to admire what the conductor does best, as was the case a few months ago after a performance of Dvorak's Rusalka."
You know, there are videogame websites run by preteens that operate with more professionalism than that.
And the otherwise glorious Cleveland Orchestra might want to concentrate more on, like, playing better, maybe under a better conductor, than lobbying for the near-dismissal of a critic who simply doesn't cave in to the marketing line.
It's not just Rosenberg: many critics do indeed think that FWM is, at best, hit-and-miss. Face it. It's not like Rosenberg gave FWM the nickname "Worse Than Möst". It was musicians. In London.
Or, in Mr. Smith's words: