Tuesday 29 November 2011

A personal apology to Charles Dutoit

Mr Dutoit,

I’m sure you don’t keep up with the critics; why would you?  Those symphonies aren’t going to learn themselves, after all.  So here’s hoping you didn’t see what I wrote about your performance of Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony with the RPO a few weeks ago.  I think I said something like “Was anything ever at stake here? Were there depths beyond Dutoit's shimmering surface? ... on this occasion, not all of the hollowness was Tchaikovsky's own.”  That was a bit much, wasn’t it.  I’ll admit it: I was disappointed with the performance, especially after I’d so much enjoyed your Rite of Spring in London a few months before; but, all considered, I’ll admit I was guilty of a little overstatement.  The performance left me rather nonplussed, but it didn’t make me angry.  It took Valery Gergiev to do that; to make a performance of this same work not so much a distortion as an act of vandalism.  So I’m sorry for being a bit mean and I’ll look forward to your next concert.  Honestly, I will; now that I know just how much worse that Tchaikovsky really could have been.


1 comment:

Doundou Tchil said...

You're kind hearted and polite, Andrew. Dutoit's problem is that he is, too, which is nice in a human being but doesn't make for dynamic, idiosyncrasic performances. OTOH maybe only he could put up with some orchestras he conducts (big grin)