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Philadelphia Symphony の直面する選択肢 [音楽時評]

Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra がMusic Director 欠員の状態が続いていることは何度か報告しました.その状態は今だに変わらないのですが,その選択肢に大きな要因が加わって,いっそう袋小路に落ち込んでいることが報じられています.

それは Los Angeles Symphony の音楽監督が,素晴しい成果を残して Philharmonia 管に移籍した Essa Pecca Salonen から,若いヴエネズラ出身のGustavo Dudamel に交替したことです.
Dudamel の素晴しい才能は,ロンドンでも証明されたことですが,その Gustavo Dudamel phenomenon の当人の,アメリカ Orchestra 音楽監督としての実力はいまだ未知数だからです.現に,異例のPR にもかかわらず,定期会員数は7%減と報じられています.

そこで,Philadelphia Symphonyに残された選択肢は,Will the orchestra’s board chase the Dudamel formula and engage someone who looks great on the podium? Or will the board make music (revelatory interpretation, unity of ensemble, cultivation of sound) the sole criterion? ということになりますが,それはさらに     The outcome will declare whether the Philadelphia Orchestra will continue to aspire to be one in a handful of the world’s top orchestras, something less, or at least something else. の選択に帰着するといわれています.

 

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

People hear what they see. It’s always been true to some extent, but it’s the case to a greater degree today than any other time I can remember, and I suspect this is largely what the Gustavo Dudamel phenomenon is about.

A lot of listeners I talk to reveal that they’re not listeners at all. They talk about how much fun he is to watch, his energy, his smile.

It’s important to know why you’re responding to a conductor, especially at a time when so much is riding on it.

In Philadelphia, what’s riding on it is a music director search in which the orchestra has no publicly stated criteria. Are we looking for the best musician, or the most magnetic poster boy? (Sorry, they’re all boys.)

In New York, it means getting to know a new music director whose big problem, in the words of one woman quoted in a Los Angeles Time piece, is that he’s just not the Dude.

“We live half the year in San Diego, and Alan Gilbert just doesn't have that Dudamel spark,” she told the paper.

No, I’m not anti-Dudamel. He’s probably good for classical music. He’s talented, promising, charismatic (see for yourself at the Kimmel in May) and has a great personal story to tell. How much musical substance he has isn’t clear yet. And whether he’ll be the Messiah, earned-revenue-wise, that everyone expects him to be remains to be seen. Subscription ticket sales for his first season in Los Angeles are down seven percent from last year despite heavy marketing dollars and a public relations dazzle (see Vogue) rare in classical music.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s next music director is likely somewhere on the roster for the season that opens in three weeks. Will the orchestra’s board chase the Dudamel formula and engage someone who looks great on the podium? Or will the board make music (revelatory interpretation, unity of ensemble, cultivation of sound) the sole criterion?

That it’s even a question is the most stunning marker of institutional change this orchestra has seen in decades. The outcome will declare whether the Philadelphia Orchestra will continue to aspire to be one in a handful of the world’s top orchestras, something less, or at least something else.


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