The cost of symphonic music♦
I found your article regarding the expenses associated with supporting a modern orchestra very interesting (see Editor’s Notebook, April 18, 2006.). My wife and I just returned from a visit to southern California, where we spent a day at the Getty museum. The Getty has the largest museum endowment in the world, and therefore they believe that the entrance fee will remain $0 forever. I think your article might have been more informative if you had asked the Philadelphiua Orchestra management how large an endowment would be required to allow them to cut ticket prices in half. Seems to me they should be seeking that so that they could play to packed houses and everyone would benefit.
Grass Valley, Calif.
April 24, 2006
Like your critic Dan Coren, I attended one of the Philadelphia Orchestra concerts conducted by Simon Rattle in February, and I am one of the students that the Orchestra director spoke of ("A lesson from Simon Rattle," Feb. 24, 2006).. My friends and I, making our weekly pilgrimage from The College of New Jersey, were also expecting the concert to be sold out— we clamoured for the opportunity to be present at this performance. I hope that we represent the future of subscription holders.
May 1, 2006
Malick’s The New World
Robert Zaller’s essay on the cinematic ups and downs, ins and outs of Terence Malicks film career is exemplary cultural criticism ("Poisioning Paradise," Feb. 3, 2006). Malick’s continuing theme that America "is an empire that never succeeded as a community" is stunning in its simple profundity. One could even argue that our highly vaunted American Exceptionalism is precisely its exocentric egoism. Exceptionally unconnected. American Dreamers prefer solo performances.
Beginning with the Henry Nash Smith UrText of American Studies, Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and Myth, I have conceived a compatible corollary: Eden as El Dorado.The American superego thinks we’re still in Eden all the while our Id bespeaks El Dorado all the way. Little wonder we so rarely integrate our egos— veering eerily from high-class idealism (the Peace Corps) to the lowest of the low (Abu Ghraib). I hope Malick’s film gets as far as Weimar soon. In the meantime, Zaller’s meditations are cinema enough-- "aboriginal scene of the crime," indeed!
Patrick D. Hazard
April 25, 2006
Andrea Mitchell’s Talking Back
Re Daniel Rubin’s article (Inquirer, April 22, 2006) about Andrea Mitchell’s response to Dan Rottenberg’s review of her memoir, Talking Back: Andrea Mitchell’s spin is lacking. A memoir is an autobiography. She did her readers a disservice by not including her stepchildren because it would have provided insight. If she was embarrassed by her past, then a wiser option would have been to omit mention of godchildren, nieces and nephew.
I thought your review was that of one journalist reviewing another journalist’s work. I didn’t think your intent was the animosity Andrea Mitchell referred to. I hope she displays decorum and doesn’t mention lack of full disclosure or secrecy regarding public figures from now on.
Ocean City, N.J.
April 26, 2006
Enjoyed your excellent review of Mitchell’s book. I am mystified as to why Daniel Rubin was compelled to comment on your review. I suspect he simply wants all to know that Mitchell answers his e-mails.
My opinion of Mitchell’s "memoir" is simple: The unexamined life is not worth examining.
May 4, 2006
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