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Magical Whisper

January 09, 1988

After reading Chris Pasles' critique of the Pacific Symphony's "New Year's Eve in Old Vienna," I wonder if he was at the same concert as all the rest of us . . . or does he have a vendetta for Keith Clark or the Pacific Symphony, wanting so much to hear only a bad performance so that not even a trickle of anything else can filter through?

If the magical whisper from Roberta Peters to Keith Clark, as mentioned in his review of Jan. 2 ("Soloist Roberta Peters Adds Too-Brief Life to Pacific Symphony's New Year's Concert") could so dramatically change the performance, shouldn't she make another career of magical whispering into the ears of conductors? Imagine the time, tedium, expense, etc. that could be saved.

As a member of the orchestra for several years, I played this concert. I know what went on. First, the concertmaster personally saw to it that we all carefully tuned up backstage, just before the performance. Also, isn't Mr. Pasles aware that many ensembles do not tune on stage just before a performance? Most instruments go out of tune during a performance and the musicians must constantly adjust--which becomes almost automatic.

If Chris Pasles didn't agree with the interpretation, that's one thing, but to make all those vicious, unfounded attacks is something else. It seems to suggest something peculiar about his attitude.

We are not above fault, but if you don't appreciate Keith Clark's imaginative approach, his maturation as a conductor or the improved performance of the orchestra both technically and artistically, something must be wrong with the listener.

CHARLES ZILA

Mission Viejo

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