- Hold the front page, hot story coming in.
- What is it?
- There's a player in the orchestra who didn't like last week's conductor.
- Come again? Yeah, that's right. There's a trombone in the New York Phil beefing on his blog about the guy who did Mahler 2. Get some pictures in.
Norman Lebrecht beat us to it. I mean, seriously. It's the holidays and all, the NYT editors must be at the mall trying to return stuff or looking for that elusive new WALL*E toy, or something, but still, a player who doesn't like the conductor is like, a big deal?
Gilbert Kaplan -- whom we never met -- is neither the greatest conductor ever of Mahler's Second (that's Klemperer), nor the greatest conductor of Mahler's Second of this day and age (that's either Abbado or Haitink, with Chailly in third place). But "amateur with a baton"? Seriously? Given his monster knowledge of that work? How many "amateurs with a computer" are there at the New York Times, using the same standard?
Now, Opera Chic's regular readers know that one of her major beefs with the HIP movement is, among many others, that it has magically turned musicologists and various academics into conductors when they truly belonged more in the audience than on the podium. It's obvious that Kaplan is no conductor in the sense that he has no repertoire and has no specific training and his gesture is a mess. But except for point 1, 2 and 3 are common currency for so many HIP conductors (and if you want to discuss point 1, let OC mention Harnoncourt's appalling Aida).
Having said this -- if you don't like Kaplan, don't take his cash. And if you let him conduct your orchestra, make sure the players who get paid to play for (with, whatever) the guy are professional enough not to slam him on their blogs.
Unless you want an orchestra of bloggers unloading all their opinions and gossip online in real time -- which would make for great entertainment, but that's no way to run a major orchestra.