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Counterpunch

The Critic and the Musicians

April 16, 2001

If Stephen Hartke weren't so thin-skinned ("Critic's History Lesson Precedes His Venom," April 9), he might recognize that he and Mark Swed share a common viewpoint: that our concert life would be much richer if professional ensembles (such as the L.A. Philharmonic) emulated pre-professional groups (such as USC's) by performing rewarding music of the recent past (such as Feldman's).

Perhaps Hartke is ready for a sabbatical himself?

GABRIEL SUERTE

San Diego

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I couldn't agree more with Hartke's analysis of Mark Swed's nasty remark about the student musicians. But when one is a paid music critic, the pressure to become a pompous know-it-all is enormous. Those who keep their heads are to be admired.

CHARLES BRAGG JR.

Pacific Palisades

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