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October 21, 2006



If orchestra members everywhere had their way Simon Rattle and Valery Gergiev would be the only 2 conductors working.

Christopher Davis

In this case, the gears just don't mesh between the conductor and the band. That's all you need to know, really.


A few malcontents and a reporter willing to spread the poison to help their cause certainly didn't do Mr. Eschenbach any good. I really enjoy his concerts- nothing dull about them. His programming was more interesting in the first few years- I don't think he got dull- I think he got muzzled. Peter Dobrin has never gotten over Sawallish and hasn't even tried. Heaven help the next music director if he doesn't come up with the same interpretive point of view.

Mark in Chicago

From what I have read and heard, Eschenbach's erratic tempos have lead to him miscueing orchestra sections or players at various times. This is something that one would never happen with Maazel. So, the comparison between the two conductors is not appropriate. I used to be a big Eschenbach fan until I heard him perform Mahler 5 in Cleveland before the job there went to Franz Welser-Most. While FWM purportedly did not accomplish anything magical during that Dohnanyi audition replacement year, Eschenbach's over the top performance lacked any sense of balance and was too brass-heavy in an already brass dominated symphony. Perhaps he was trying to be the next Solti, but it did not work and just sounded crass. Recent performances in Philadelphia have had the same problem, and that orchestra is already more brass heavy than the Cleveland. Also, while FWM/Cleveland received some mixed reviews for their first two concerts at Carnegie Hall recently, they were not all bad and their performance of the Bruckner 5th was highly praised. Such was not the case with the Eschenbach/Philly Carnegie Hall concert recently. It appears that the orchestra gave him what he wanted, and that was perhaps the problem. Eschenbach has always been an excellent musician, but he is not right for a big time orchestra music director post. He has been passed over by Cleveland and New York, and was hired in Philadelphia without conducting the orchestra there for several years. Obviously, Philly management looked around at their choices and made the best one they could under those circumstances. Better choices may now be available and,with these other factors, I believe that the Philly management has made the right decision that it is time to move on.

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