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Previn & The Phil

May 24, 1987

Regarding Andre Previn and the L.A. Philharmonic (Calendar Letters, May 17): It is well that concern should be expressed by Martin Bernheimer ("A Problematic Partnership," May 10).

Our orchestra was raised from provincialism to international status by a young Zubin Mehta, a great and natural musical talent.

Then--near disaster: Carlo Maria Giulini was out of place here. Appearing on stage like his holiness himself, he directed a hundred people feverishly working slush pumps. His Schubert was hopelessly verschmalzt, and it will take me years to get over the bombast and ballyhoo of his "Godly" Beethoven Ninth. He is best remembered for his "Falstaff," and his long absences.

Enter Andre Previn: He is a musician's musician, a primus inter pares. He is just right for the status of our orchestra now. Would we have been better served with some European Wunderkind with permanently angelic expression, or hair so perfectly cut it always falls back into place?

As for Bernheimer, a critic's lot is not an easy one. If he comes across as too erudite, peoples' eyes will glaze over. If he is too much of a pussycat, there goes the Pulitzer.

What he does--and does well, and entertainingly--is to express an opinion, albeit an educated and knowledgeable one. He, too, has raised the status of our orchestra. There are few critics worldwide who are as good as he.

The bottom line: We all care, deeply. Tutti bravi, L.A. Philharmonic, and on to "Disney Hall."


Santa Monica

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