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Philharmonic Reviews

May 13, 1991

The article by L.A. Philharmonic oboist David Weiss emphasizes the problem that I have always felt existed with that group: that they are an undisciplined group of musicians, some quite good, some quite poor and most quite mediocre.

Weiss seems to be upset that The Times did not single out a musician for his English horn solo in a Shostakovich symphony--thus placing individual feelings above the welfare of the orchestra as a whole. And that, essentially, is why the Philharmonic is a second-rate orchestra. Its members play as individuals, each doing his or her own thing.

A critic once wrote of the Cleveland Orchestra that it "played as one magnificent instrument." That is the mark of a great orchestra.

MARTIN PEPPER

Los Angeles

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