Steven Lemons writesÂ a very interesting piece in theÂ Phoenix New TimesÂ on the continuing imbroglio between Michael Christie and the Phoenix Symphony. Â My goodness, what controversy!! Â And check out those comments — Mr. Christie seems to inspire very passionate opinions both from his admirers and his detractors. Â That probably means he’s doing something right.
Speaking of trade mags and puff pieces, what is this “Listen” Magazine that showed up in my mail today? Â Did everybody else get this? (he asks his non-existent readership…) Â I haven’t actually read it yet, but if I were to judge it by it’s cover (which I think you can do with a magazine) I’d say it’s total crap — just look at the quality of the print and the paper.
A further examination of the contents reveals that this is just another BBC Music or Grammaphone magazine — a bunch of puff pieces about the most famous classical musicians and some lame CD reviews, sprinkled liberally with ads for pianos and opera recordings. Â And on top of that, there’s no CD. Â BBC and Grammaphone include a CD glued to each edition of their magazines (which makes them even more overpriced than they otherwise would be). Â The “Listen” website has a link called “Purchase Music”, which made me think, “well, maybe for a buck or two, you can download a compilation of the tracks referenced in this issue…”
Instead, you are directed to a search page on ArchivMusic.com that lists ALL OF THE CD’s referenced in this magazine. Â No no no, this will not do. Â Wait a second… flipping through the pages of the magazine, I notice that at least half of the ads are for ArchivMusic. Â Well, I think we’ve adequately solved THAT mystery.
But while I’m on the subject, what’s with this Leonard Bernstein 90th anniversary stuff? Â I mean, come on people, you couldn’t wait 10 years? Â Don’t get me wrong, I think every day should be Lenny day! Â But I don’t like the idea of milking every tiny postmortem milestone for every last drop you can squeeze out of the guy’s name.
I mean, just look at him. Â He’s so beautiful.
OK, and I’ll say it, though I probably shouldn’t: this does bother me a little.