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On 15/01/2018 at 5:54 PM, DanielBenton said:

ballet_n00b thanks for pointing me to Beatrice Rana.

My pleasure! I think she could be something very special, it will be interesting to see how she develops. If you have Spotify I highly recommend her recent recording of the Goldberg Variations. Incidentally, I've been duly informed that tonight's concert will be filmed and available on Medici.

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Somewhat related to this topic - I have come across a website listing (and discussing) Rolling Stone Magazine's 500 Worst Reviews Of All Time.
I find the information to be really, really funny - as long as one doesn't take the review statements too personally. At the beginning of the list the author (username Schmidtt) states his/her classifications (but the individual reviews mentioned don't really seem to have been labeled in any way).

"What do I mean by the "worst" reviews?
The reviews generally break down into four categories:

(1) Poorly Written Reviews: Self-explanatory. Most of these were written in the magazine's infancy, when no one knew what the hell they were doing.

(2) Curmudgeonly Reviews: Reviews that are unduly harsh or dismissive, or offer a specious critique of a band. In many cases the artist that is the target of the curmudgeon's wrath is inventing a new genre, which confuses the critic, causing him (or her, though as we shall see, this was, by and large, a man's man's man's man's world) to lash out with sarcasm and invective. In other instances, the curmudgeon has a personal ax to grind, and is lambasting an album for reasons that are completely tangential to the music itself. Almost all of Dave Marsh's reviews fall under #2. Many of Christian Hoard's do too (when he is not writing anti-reviews). Jon Landau was a curmudgeon until he stopped caring and became a hack.

(3) Hack Reviews: Terrible albums, generally by established artists (and/or personal friends of Jann Wenner), that were reviewed favorably by RS. In many cases I honestly doubt that the critic genuinely holds the opinions articulated in these reviews. Anthony DeCurtis, David Fricke and Rob Sheffield are clearly the biggest and worst hacks. J.D. Considine really straddles both #2 and #3. Chuck Eddy possibly belongs here as well, but some of his reviews are so bizarre and off-base that I'm tempted to put him in a fifth category all his own.

(4) Anti-Reviews: A review that hedges, describing an album without ever really offering an opinion about it, usually in one hundred words or less. Invariably an anti-review awards an album three stars. Most reviews in today's Rolling Stone by new artists or indie bands fall into this category. Christian Hoard, and virtually every other critic currently working for RS, has embraced this flaccid style."

So, what's in the list? Many, many now iconic Pop/Rock albums. There are an awful lot of reviews that simply trash the albums and rubbish the musicians, but some of them are "favorable" reviews, they just happen to be so useless to the reader that I suppose they belong in category (1) "Poorly Written" or (4) "Anti-Reviews".

Among the records receiving mixed or bad reviews are various Joni Mitchell albums, the Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers and Exiles on Mainstreet, Beatles' Abbey Road, Simon and Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence, all Led Zeppelin albums, Jimi Hendrix albums, Cat Stevens, various early Neil Young albums, etc.

Edited by pherank
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Here's what I've been listening to, and thoroughly enjoying:

Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Incidental Music, Op.61
Seiji Ozawa & Boston Symphony Orchestra with Judi Dench reciting from Shakespeare

Someone has posted the entire piece along with the Shakespeare text to YouTube, but I recommend using the Amazon search on BalletAlert to purchase the digital download (the audio will sound better).


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