A Rising Stars concert, the Quatuor Voce again to perform Mantovani's Quatuor à cordes... twice, a very lively OPL - Dating concert with a Jean-François Zigel who can talk anything Mozart for hours, a new generation of conductors represented by Gustavo Gimeno, Wolfgang Muthspiel's new album: the least we can say is that this week has been full of discoveries and it's about time it came to a close because there's only so much a brain can remember. If you can still squeeze a fun fact or two into yours, then we recommend you the following links!
* Critics can build or destroy a career but that doesn't mean they are protected from criticisms themselves. Ruppert Christiansen now knows what it's like to produce a piece that doesn't get a good reception. His review of The Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne was met with fury because of a five-letter word: dumpy. As in: "But [Tara Erraught] is dumpy of stature and whether in bedroom déshabille, disguised as Mariandel or in full aristocratic fig, her costuming makes her resemble something between Heidi and Just William." With this one word a sexism row started. (To be fair Christiansen wasn't the only male critic to express an opinion on Erraught's appearance.) Does a critic have the right to disparage a singer's figure? Does the look of a singer (man or woman) really matter? Shouldn't it be more about the singing and acting skills and the costumes? Christiansen stands by his words but still fails to convince the internet.
* "The United States is among the minority of nations in which the practice of excluding performers from commercial airplay royalties remains legal," Jazz Times explains, as royalties are paid to song owners only and performers are supposed to be thankful for promotional exposure. The Boston Globe notes that artists used to be able to "make up the lost revenue in increased record and ticket sales driven by the exposure radio can generate. But that argument is stuck in the 20th century. As music sales decline, so does the promotional value of radio airplay." As a result, more and more artists rally to fight this system, even forming lobbying groups such as the Content Creators Coalition. “It’s not that we didn’t take care of our money," remarks bassist Melvin Gibbs about the destitute in the jazz community, "it’s that we didn’t get paid in the first place.”
* France Musique has a nice multimedia documentary about the Paris National Opera's production of La Traviata. Technically speaking, it's not the most advanced documentary of this kind and the language used for the summary of the opera is a bit childish ("Il est super riche"... Does he give high fives too?). But you get a good insight in how an opera is created thanks to interviews with the conductor, the costume designers, etc. And Christophe Gaultier's drawings really add a touch of grace to the audio excerpts.
That's it for this week! Don't forget that you can send us your best links to firstname.lastname@example.org!