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A selection of letters received from our readers. We welcome your feedback on the points raised here, or on any other issues.

From: Don Pilarz

I have read John Bell Young's review of Yvgeny Kissin's Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition. I and everyone I know who has heard the recording feel that Mr Young shows very poor judgement indeed! His review is an example of petty, biased views which can be forgiven in the case of ignorance but which a reviewer should avoid in favour of a musically and stylistically more broad minded and perceptive intelligence.

A review should be as creative as any art form. Diatribe doesn't have sufficient persuasive powers to be of value in good critical analysis. Please try to require a greater level of perspicacity from your reviewers.

From: Jean Peccei

Please give my sincere compliments and a well deserved Bravo! to Roderic Dunnett for his superb review of the ROH Macbeth. I was there myself (although on a night with a different tenor as MacDuff) and found his appraisal very insightful and such a pleasure to read. Far far better than most of the glib reviews that appeared in the print press here in the UK.

From: Jon Krueger

Thanks so much for publishing Gerald Brennan's article. He is right-on, and I would like to hear from him again, if possible!

From: Gabriel Gojon

I hope your site will publish a list of all the small recording labels that are going to usher the new golden age of classical music recording as portrayed in Mistaken Catastrophe, A view from the trenches by Gerald Brennan, since a single place were one can find such information would be invaluable if this phenomenom ever happens (if all the alternative labels get lost in the miriad of useless URL that plague the internet and that search engines point to, the transition from major label recording to specialized firms would be useless). Thank you!

From: Jim Stokes

Love your newsletter. It made my day, which will otherwise turn out to be a 'downer'. But you surely helped! God Bless You!

From: Annette Celine

Last December 28 was 10 years since the death of pianist Felicja Blumental. A Festival in her memory has been created at the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art.

Also, new CDs have been issued of a live concert with Villa-Lobos, and other concertos by Brazilian composers.

Is it possible to mention in your site?

From: John W Hill

I read with enthusiasm the review of the recent production of The Cunning Little Vixen in Wales and Wilfrid Mellers' perceptive comments on last year's Opera North production. Since I wrote my master's thesis about the opera (Russian Academy of Theatrical Arts), I know the score inside out and have definite opinions about it.

My argument is that the Max Brod German translation of the opera (and his changes to it) have polluted productions and assessments of the opera everywhere except the Czech lands ever since the first non-Czech première. I'm happy to say that based on Wilfrid Mellers' review and the apparent merits of the two productions reviewed, the spirit of Janácek's message still manages to come through. It is annoying, though, that understanding of many details of the story continues to be clouded for many producers and reviewers by the Brod botching of the libretto.

Was the English translation made from the German or the Czech libretto? One has to wonder when Terynka is referred to as 'the gypsy girl'. You can look for the word 'gypsy' in the Czech libretto (Janácek's) all year: it's not there. Also baffling is the confusion about the Forester's erotic recollection at the end of the opera. It can be no one other than Mrs Forester (and to hell with Walter Felsenstein); the Czech line is 'that was the day after our wedding.'

From: Jana Statov

Bravura Music have just released an album with the world's first Wagner music video clip. The album features a new heldentenor, Sasha Novak. Check for details.

From: (name withheld)

Thanks a lot for your Daily Anniversary !

From: Walter W Harp

Thank you for the daily dose of sanity and inspiration.


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