Why the reviews are always nice (especially toward famous violinists)?
The V.com editor has done a lot of "The Week in Reviews" blog posts and I enjoyed them a lot. However, I could not help but notice that most of the reviews were heaps of praises. Seldom did I see any slight dissatisfaction, let alone criticism. I really wonder if the reviewers were truly writing what they felt.
A while ago I attended a local concert featuring a world-famous violinist (in the caliber of Perlman and Zukerman). This violinist did the Bach Double Concerto with the maestro of the city orchestra, who is a violinist as well. I must said I was disappointed, and felt our maestro sounded better than the world-famous violinist. However I don't think I read any bad review for that concert.
I think that some people listen to music for the positives, and not because they're trying to listen for the problems. Critics who find issues are quite common, so maybe this is an attempt at something different?
I go to concerts all the time and hear some pretty junky performances (and many good ones), but when I look online for reviews of the players' other performances, all I can ever find is effusive praise.
The reason the reviews are always good is because, generally speaking, so are the violinists. You don't get the opportunity to perform like that without being a blithering genius of the violin. A few sour notes and they flush you out of the conservatory so fast you don't even get wet. Still it would be fun to start a "newspaper" whose sole function is negative musical reviews. For the sake of consistency the front end of the paper could be yesterday's Breitbart.
I agree with the point expressed in the OP.
Regarding the OP, the Bach Double is considered something a violinist of Perlman's caliber can play in his sleep. Honestly think your local concertmaster challenged himself to hit it out of the park. The visiting superstar probably thought he was doing someone a huge favor. I hope it wasn't Vengerov because I've seen videos of him playing the Bach Double with different people (amateurs, students, etc.) and he takes it seriously.
Let's face it, the violin as an instrument leaves a lot to be desired, and anyone who goes up on stage to play one probably deserves thunderous applause just for the temerity.
It's either because no one does anything truly provocative, or because the critics are open to hearing a wide range of interpretations.
I think many critics these days are afraid of being proven wrong and looking stupid. It's their job to issue an instant verdict on a concert, without the luxury of hearing it a few times in recordings. More than once I've come out of a concert muttering imprecations, only to wonder what I had to complain about when I heard the same concert on the radio a few days later. A wise listener understands that their reaction to a performance has as much to do with their own state of mind as the quality of playing. Maybe we need critics who are less wise?
*I hope it wasn’t Vengerov because I’ve seen videos of him*
Every performer that ever was (with one possible exception) has had their off day but nevertheless had to get on with the performance. The exception, I'm given to understand, was the Great H; but even so, when some lesser light apologised to him for not being on form on a particular occasion the reply was, "It's alright for you but I've got to be Heifetz every day".
I know that happens, in a daily basis. Not only in music, but in every field, critics rarely explain the reality.
If it's about non-amateur reviewers, one reason why most if not all reviews are positive is the perilous situation arts reporting is in.
I'd like to know why the audiences stand up and roar every time they hear a name brand soloist even if he/she had an off night amd earned only standard level appreciation.
First, because it is not science, which mistake will be intolerable and ruled out, within the standard of so-called violinists, some flaw will not irritate the audiences.
Criticism of classical violin performances tend to be very positive. This is why IMO:
This isn't about a violinist, but about the famous composer/pianist Ferruccio Busoni (early 1900's). Apparently he gave a recital/concert in which one reviewer was particularly negative.
I thought it was Max Reger who wrote that?
In an abrasive world of negativity, crassness, vulgarity and snide remarks, I like the fact that I've found a place where civility is almost -- unfortunately not always -- embraced as the norm. Damning with faint praise seems more appropriate for me.
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