Monday, January 03, 2005

Just how does the Times allot space?

Today's NY Times Arts section leads off with an interview with soprano Andrea Gruber - it's nearly identical in content, if not in length or glossiness, to the interview with her in January's Opera News. And if you dig around a bit in the print version of the Times, you'll find a half page devoted to Anthony Tommasini's review of Kurt Masur's New Year's Eve concert, which consisted of Beethoven's 9th symphony and "Auld Lang Syne."

Now, Gruber's story, involving her recovery from years of drug problems, is certainly an interesting one, but it's dismaying that the Times interview is so similar to the one in Opera News. And why, oh, why, the two big photos of the Philharmonic concert, taking up more space than the text of Tommasini's review? Why bother to review the concert at all, when the performance doesn't sound particularly distinguished? ("Musically, the performance of the first two movements was disappointing......Still, the playing of the orchestra, though precise and sonorous, seemed expressively constricted.")

In the last three days, wasn't there some musical event in NYC, other than the umpty-umpth performance of Beethoven's 9th, that was worth sending the Times's principal classical music critic to??

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