FONT color=#003399>what about those acoustics? More
verdicts are in, all tentative of course. “Clearly, the acoustics are
excellent,” writes Howard Kissel of the New York Daily
News. Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times, following up his first piece, writes this
morning that “the discretely amplified Kenny Barron Quintet, a jazz ensemble, sounded
just right in the new space.” But Times jazz critic Ben
Ratliffe agrees with Arts Journal’s Terry Teachout.
(Scroll down.) Ratliff reports,
heard the “telltale distant rumble” of the subway that runs beneath the hall. But unlike Teachout,
he writes: “It didn’t bother me a bit.” Not incidentally, here’s what multipurpose Zankel Hall looks like in
its main concert configuration, one of a half-dozen seating deployments it can martial.
(Check out the slide show, too).
Postscript: Music critic Martin Bernheimer adds his grace notes to
the audio mix in
today’s Financial Times. He writes:
Zankel Hall offers no visual shocks. The entrance facilities are modest, the
escalators narrow, the lobbies rather cramped. The auditorium adheres to old-fashioned shoebox
proportions. The interior walls are lined with sweet-smelling wood, and the ceilings harbour
unadorned lighting grids. The seats offer little spacious comfort, and currently there’s no center
Still, this is a reasonably handsome, few-frills hall, a work still in progress. It seems to court
serious danger only in its rumbling proximity to the subway system. From the side of the 10th
row, downstairs, the sound at the opening concert seemed live and bright, too much so in
fortissimo outbursts. We’ll know more about the acoustics, of course, as time marches on, as
internal tests change and mechanical variables are adjusted.
Just in case you noticed the British spelling, i.e. harbour: Bernheimer’s no Brit. He’s
the Pulitzer Prize-winning former chief music critic of the Los Angeles Times and
— not to wave the flag — U.S.-born and -bred.