What is this, from James R. Oestreich in the New York Times?

Why, it's a light little review, perhaps intended to reflect the spirit of the concert. I am left a bit confused and concerned.

A Visitor from Vancouver Concludes a Summer Stay [excerpted]

“Where in the World Has Bramwell Tovey Gone?” a headline in The Vancouver Sun read on Thursday.

I think that's supposed to refer to an old kid's television show. If I remember right it was called something like "Where in the Fuck Is Carmen Miranda?"

Figure 1: Why, she's at the Detritus Review, of course.

As the article showed, The Sun knew precisely where Mr. Tovey, the music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, was, and so did many New Yorkers. On Thursday night, as for most of the last two weeks, he was at Avery Fisher Hall, conducting the New York Philharmonic in Summertime Classics...

He was hiding...on the podium at Avery Fisher Hall? Chutzpah, man. That dude must have some yarbles.

...a series of abbreviated, popsy, chatty concerts, for which he also serves as host.

Erm. I think I know what was intended, but "popsy" is an archaic [ca. 1860-65], obscure British word for an attractive young woman. And it isn't an adjective (even though it looks much like one), or one could speculate that he's alluding to Denyce Graves, the soloist at the event.

You learn something every day.


But Mr. Oestreich saves a random cheap shot for the end (which is fine, but worth noting):

As speaker, he [Tovey] was all the more entertaining for sticking to musical and textual points and avoiding generic shtick.

Yeah, occasion-specific schtick is usually more...occasion-specific.

He got a little carried away with Ravel’s “BolĂ©ro” (yet another labored viola joke?), but then so did Ravel.

BAM! Take that, overplayed masterwork of orchestration!

Figure 2: Is it really necessary to belittle Ravel?

Incidentally (or perhaps the real reason for this post), that reminds me of my favorite viola joke.

Q: What's the longest viola joke in the world?

A: Harold in Italie!

Ah. Hope everyone had a Francophilic Bastille Day.


Gustav said...

A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five.

AnthonyS said...

I fully expect to see a young, cross-dressing Ravel fan post an emotional, weeping YouTube video instructing the NYT to "Leave Ravel alone!"