Friday, October 22, 2010

Stopped By Stronger Forces

The consequences of nationalist and racialist ferocity are no strangers to us in the 1990s. We have witnessed them in the Near and Far East, in Africa, in India and, most painfully to many of us, in the former Yugoslavia. Whether those who suffer are Jews, or Kurds, blacks or whites, Arabs, Muslims, Orthodox, Protestant or Catholic Christians, we know that there is no end to intolerance, and yet in practice there is an end, though it is rarely either honorable or lasting. It comes, not when the people involved become politically wiser, spiritually purer or emotionally calmer and more enlightened, but simply when they find themselves stopped by stronger forces, or they run out of steam.

Gitta Sereny, writing in 1995


  1. Just a heads up. will broadcast Hindemith's "Mathis Der Maler" Symphony Saturday evening. live from Cleveland.

  2. Thanks for the tip.

    I've never been much of a radio person, and have never pursued the idea of listening to a radio station online. Is the sound quality acceptable?

    May I assume that Donald Rosenberg will be handling the intermission features?

  3. I understand.

    I listen to WCLV online because here in Orlando we have no local broadcast source for live classical music. I only listen to radio in order to hear live, "world class" concerts from the US and Europe. It's cheaper than becoming a professional jetsetter.

    I use a Gateway laptop with a pair of Sennheiser HD 203 headphones. Sound chips have improved remarkably over the last few years, and listening fatique isn't a problem for me, so long as I listen only to individual pieces. I admit, however, that I had become a bit weary listening to the Cleveland Bruckner 8 online by the time the Adagio ended. Harmonic and other kinds of distortions, however ameliorated these days, do eventually take their toll; besides this, some musical information never survives the microphones.

    I'm certain that Super-Don will be present this evening, as Mr. Blomstedt is one of his gods. The critic has just recently ended his involvement with "The Life and Ungodly Times of Marie Antoinette" in Vienna and is back in town.

    Super-Don, I understand, has developed a noticeable dowager's hump, poor dear, as a result of his having to endure those 43 pounds of buck teeth night after night in "Marie."

    Maybe Super-Don will attend tonight's concert in a Quazimodo Halloween costume, so that no one will be able to recognize him.

  4. That's "listening fatigue," not "listening fatique."

  5. If I lived in Cleveland, I would attend tonight’s concert. I like Blomstedt, and I like tonight’s program (although soloist Garrick Ohlsson is nothing more than competent).

    I wonder whether the idiot Rosenberg still boycotts Cleveland concerts, even under guest conductors. If the man truly loves music, wouldn’t it be hard to stay away?

    What I still find amusing about the whole Super-Don episode is that the nation’s music critics, from the time of his dismissal through resolution of his lawsuit, claimed that he was the finest of his breed, silenced for his “integrity”, and that he would be a valuable and noble asset to any other publication.

    So why has Super-Don not been offered a job elsewhere?

    These people live in their own little fantasy worlds.

  6. Tomorrow afternoon, we are going to attend Opera Boston’s “Fidelio”.

    We have heard that it is “not bizarre”, which I guess is a good start.

  7. I have given up trying to understand the nutty Rosenberg, as well as all his nutty collegues. I suppose that even under a guest conductor it's "too painful" for the man.

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame was deaf, you know.

    I hope you and Josh enjoy tomorrow's opera. "Fidelio" is such a wonderful work.