Your Take: The critic can get emotional, too

Written by Andrew Druckenbrod on .

Manfred HoneckMost of the time, I think, people read reviews of concerts as if they are clinical and based on pure, reasoned thought that was made over a long stretch of time. But the fact is, emotion is a major factor, esp. when we write reviews right after the fact (which is the case for me whether or not they make the next day's paper).

Actually, I think a good review needs to have emotional reaction and content in it. This is not musicology, it is criticism; we are not analyzing a score but reacting to a performance.

Emotion certainly flowed yesterday, when I wrote after an astoundly good concert at Heinz Hall by the Pittsburgh Symphony under Manfred Honeck (pictured). I was both moved and pumped up by it and I think it showed up in the review.

Please register and tell me your thoughts on any of the weekend's concerts...

P.S. It seems that Honeck emerged the victor in a battle at the State Opera of Stuttgart, where he is general music director. In his debut with an Wagner opera (yes, first anywhere), with Wagner's "Lohengrin" in March, the chorus, Honeck and others really didn't like French director Stanislas Nordey’s production. They specifically decried how it forced the chorus to sit on stage in awkward places and I think for most of the production. The chorus and Honeck protested to the point that Nordley withdrew. Here is the presser. I was going to get this out earlier, but then just figured to wait until Honeck was in town:

"Due to irreconcilable differences between director [Nordey] and General Music Director [Honeck], however, Stanislas Nordey withdrew his name from the production on Monday, March 23. The premiere will therefore be staged according to a directorial concept of Stanislas Nordey. The differences were mostly based on a disagreement of how the choir should be placed on stage and the thus resulting sound situation."

Good for Honeck to stand up for his troops and art in this regietheater situation.

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