The following letter has been received at Slipped Disc from the apparent perpetrator of the LPO Bruckner disturbance. I could not possibly comment. But you can.
From Alex Verney-Elliott
The ‘man’ was me and I think it was a polite response in response to an impolite performance: I walked out in protest against the self-indulgent bad conducting of Vanska and the terrible playing of the LPO where the woodwind and brass were often out of sync and out of tune: It was a slow-motion performance with no sense of line and forward momentum and the Andante just dragged with Vanska losing his pace almost bringing the music to a stand still; Vanska conducted a terrible discredited perverted edition that is a total travesty (with those kitsch Straussian cymbal swishes) and the LPO were obviously not well rehearsed and in very bad form. It is about time Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Hall and Royal Albert Hll Proms audiences became far more critical and shout out like I did otherwise we will continue to have ‘dumbed-down’ tenth-rate performances like this: For the record: I shouted out to the audience: “He’s dragging it!, “It’s far too slow”, “Whay aren’t you all more critical?” and ending up saying: “It’s rubbish!”
I stand by all my objective statements of fact and think others should have joined in with me and been less cowardly and more courageous and critical: I did not display bad manners: the conduor did in his bad mannered performance which was indeed a very mannered perverted performance! One person in the annex did say: “I agree with you!”
Norman Lebrecht incorrectly stated: “I do hope the South Bank administration have taken measures to ban the man (who is apparently known to them from past eccentricities).” This is libelous slander as I am not at all “known” to the South Bank from “past eccentricities”: Please name one ‘eccentricity’ that I am ‘known’ for? This is the first time I have ever made a protest at the Royal Festival Hall or South Bank Center.
I do hope the South Bank administration have taken measures to ban Lebrecht (who is apparently known to them from past eccentricities of admiring third rate conductors and performances). Why does Lebrecht and the Royal Festival Hall audience supinely accept impolite and badly mannered performances?
Here is Erica Jeal’s idiotic account in The Guardian:
“If the concerto seemed to flash by, the same could not be said for Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony – though the audience member who in the fourth movement felt moved to stomp out, complaining about Vänskä’s tempo, proved only that there’s no way to heckle classical concerts without appearing weird. The conductor’s ability to keep the music’s momentum spinning in mid-air, which had made for a cogent first movement and a second movement that seemed like a symphony in microcosm, began to flag somewhere in the bald exchanges of the third. For all the detail of his conducting, the finale didn’t have the impact those first two movements had seemed to promise.”
Enough said about our dumbed-down critics reviewing dumbed-down performances of dumbed-down editions! Why are audiences and critics so uncritical today?