Over at San Francisco Classical Voice, David Bratman reviewed a recent Cabrillo Festival program and someone gave him a hard time about the review itself. (This is not the review where he called Magnus Lindberg a modernist, a term under discussion elsewhere on this blog.) It is likely I would respond to the program somewhat differently from David, but I found "GG12"'s objections incomprehensible, though my response didn't exactly say that.
Joshua Kosman reviewed Cabrillo programs that included Rouse, Friar, Newman, and Puts, with the big pieces being the West Coast premier of Chrisopher Rouse's Symphony No. 3 and the world premier of Kevin Puts's Flute Concerto. He loved the Rouse, but found the Puts disappointing.
Yesterday, the Chron published a long letter from the commissioners of the Puts concerto, Joseph and Bette Hirsch (NO RELATION, I repeat, no relation). Their main point is "everybody loved it but you, and you should have told readers about the standing ovation."
Look, almost every concert at Cabrillo gets a standing ovation. That is a meaningless metric. I have sat through standing o's for plenty of pieces I didn't much care for myself, like, uh, Philip Glass's Tenth. And of course people told the commissioners what a wonderful piece it was! What else are they going to say?? "Too bad it's crap" is not what a reasonably civilized person will say to folks who have just dropped thousands on a commission.
As for the other point, sure, Joshua could have noted that lots of people loved the concerto. It would make for more complete reportage on the program, which is one of a reviewer's charges. But based on what I've heard of Kevin Puts's music, I suspect I would have been with Joshua on the merits.
NB: SFCV's Jeff Dunn had some doubts but mostly sided with the audience on the Puts.