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Big 3 Concert

January 13, 1991

In his review of "Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti in Concert: Arias and Songs," in the Dec. 30 Alla Breve column, Walter Price questioned the participation of "a serious musician like Mehta" and generally panned the artistic quality of the recording. Price should re-examine conductor Zubin Mehta's style.

In Los Angeles, the contrast between showman Mehta and artist Carlo Maria Giulini was striking. The live concert with the three tenors--together despite a rumored feud between Domingo and Pavarotti--was exactly the kind of show Mehta relishes. It had flash, an elite audience and the kind of attention generated by the World Cup soccer finals.

Price should also examine his own feelings regarding showmanship versus artistic purity. What is wrong with a recording of top singers performing songs of long-enduring popularity? Price characterized the finale as the "height of vulgarity." However, a New York Times article about the concert reported that the audience enjoyed the finale so much that it joined in singing. Surely, the Italian audience was not filled with barbarians.

The record might not have been good art. Price failed to tell us if it was good entertainment.

DAVID E. ROSS

Agoura

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