I just read this line in a review:

Oboist Sarah Jeffrey, clarinetist Joaquin Valdepenas, bassoonist Michael Sweeney and French-hornist Neil Deland played beautifully, of course ….

When a reviewer writes “of course” I frequently feel rather stupid. Am I supposed to just expect these players to play beautifully, so that’s what the “of course” is about? I dunno.

And, of course (tee hee), I use those two little words frequently too, so who am I to be so darn critical? But I am. So there you go.

(The review itself was an “ouchy” one. You can read it all here.)


  1. Hi Patty! Nice blog here.

    I have always been frustrated by reviewers, especially music ones. They never seem to get it right!

    My pet peeve: When reviewers and newspaper reporters use the phrase “Sour notes” to describe problems with symphony orchestra managements.

    I am so VERY tired of that hackneyed phrase! Why don’t they come up with something new and different?


  2. Hi Cameron!

    I’m with you. But it seems that the folks who write things like “Sour notes” will never change.

  3. Patty! Thanks for this post! My freshman year at NEC Sarah was a 1st year Master’s in the same studio, and she was SO good, and she gave me some “lesson time”, one reedmaking lesson in particular. I’m VERY happy to see that she’s made it big!

  4. Nice to hear this, Cooper!

  5. Jeannette Clemons

    When the USNavy Band was reviewed, writers liked use Navy metaphors, such as “Timpani was like depth charges” and “Sonar-ous winds”. It was JUST PAINFUL. And we did have really outstanding musicians who played beautifully,of course…..