Same performance, different views

Reading through the reviews of Thursday’s performance of the Mother Goose Suite I am struck by how varied the reviews are.

Sumi Hahn, in the Seattle Times said:

“Ravel’s “Mother Goose” Suite was a fairy princess, draped in gossamer and haloed in radiance. The Seattle Symphony players were exquisite on this series of miniatures, playing with lucidity and utter cohesion, as tightly woven as silk. The burst of sound sparkles that concluded this reverie sounded exactly like a shower of pixie dust — if you could hear pixie dust shimmer and then fade.”

RM Campbell on this site remarked:

“Ravel’s “Mother Goose” Suite opened the evening. This is a charming bit of music, sometimes quirky, sometimes witty, sometimes touching. Mickelthwate captured all those qualities. He revealed his sensitivity to Ravel’s intentions and musical ambitions with a reading that oozed style and goodwill. With its five tales, the suite possesses immense imagination and individuality. Mickelthwate managed to establish the character of each section with accuracy and quickness and subtlety. The orchestra responded in kind.”

Melinda Bargreen heard things differently:

“The results were interesting, to say the least. The first half of the evening was plagued by ensemble problems; the opening Ravel “Mother Goose” Suite had some lovely moments, but also passages where, for example, the first and second violins were so unsynchronized that parallel thirds sounded like syncopations.”

Was the concert exquisite as Hahn states or plagues by ensemble problems?

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One thought on “Same performance, different views

  1. Zach, thanks for questioning the level of arts criticism in Seattle. We must demand a level of understanding and truthfulness of those who call themselves “critics”. I am disappointed that no none has commented on your posting, but am not really surprised.
    Kudos to you!

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