21. October 2008 · Comments Off on Critique · Categories: Ramble

Mark Adamo doesn’t write glowing things about Dr. Atomic.

I don’t know Mr. Adamo’s music. At all. I’ve looked online occasionally to see if emusic has his work, and so far they don’t. I do want to hear his music, so I suppose I’ll have to venture out of emusic and go elsewhere.

I would guess that critiquing another composer’s work takes guts.


I’m wimpy. Everyone knows I’m wimpy by now. Aside from being honest with students, I don’t like to say or write negative things about much of anything or anyone. I hate confrontation. I don’t like to hurt anyone, and I hate getting anyone angry. I’d rather walk away than get into an argument. I’d rather seethe in my little room than be honest about something that really has me upset, if it causes distress between another person and yours truly. It’s not that I’m better than anyone else and want to be a peacemaker. It’s that I’m wimpy. Really.

If I write about fellow oboists it’s nearly always because I’m impressed by them. I don’t need to comment on those I’m less impressed with — I suppose my silence speaks a bit anyway, yes? I’d rather remain quiet on the negative and loudly proclaim the positive. But you can bet that if I say anything positive about a performer or a performance I mean every word of it. I have made a promise to myself to never flatter or compliment when I don’t mean it. Really.

It’s not because I’m better than anyone else. I’m just not the brave sort who can critique negatively and deal with any backlash. But I am the sort who believes we can use all the honest compliments we can get in this business. It’s too darn stressful, don’tcha think?

But back to the opera … I liked Dr. Atomic. Dan (my husband), saw it twice, so he clearly liked it. But I’m just an oboe player. I like what I like and don’t like what I don’t like and can only very poorly — if at all — explain why.

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