Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor/Philharmonic review: May 19

Pianist Han Chen was the featured performer at the Lexington Philharmonic's season-ending event.
Pianist Han Chen was the featured performer at the Lexington Philharmonic's season-ending event.

Mean-spirited account

I am writing with regard to Tedrin Blair Lindsay's mean-spirited review of the Lexington Philharmonic's May 10 performance.

My wife and I are subscribers to season tickets. Before relocating to Lexington a few years ago, we were huge fans of the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic. We don't pretend to be technical music experts, but we are music lovers.

We thought that the concert was outstanding — perhaps the most enjoyable of the season. That Han Chen's performance was "seriously underpowered" and "under emotive," and that he "could have played with much more bravura" is a matter of opinion, and Lindsay is certainly entitled to his.

Lindsay blathered on to demean the second half of the program as well. I don't know what program he was watching, but there wasn't a dry eye in our area of the audience. There was a family with young children directly in front of us, and the children were mesmerized.

Perhaps Lindsay should consider the larger picture. The Philharmonic, and the other musical organizations that we are fortunate to have in Lexington, are about entertainment, enjoyment and culture. I dare say that some kinder words, and a more generous tone, would have a salubrious effect on our community.

Thomas Rogers


Way off the mark

I don't know who wrote the headline for Tedrin Blair Lindsay's Sunday review of the final Lexington Philharmonic concert of the season, but the concert I heard wasn't "lackluster" any more than this year's spring in Lexington has been warm, dry and constantly balmy.

The audience's sustained ovation was rewarding not just the musicians' "efforts" on the incredibly demanding Rachmaninoff, but their accomplishments. And though the actors in Peter Boyer's Ellis Island suite did need better miking or enunciation in that large hall, the totality of the visuals, actors and music had its own more subdued emotional impact. Not a lackluster evening.

Susan Janecek


Hypocritical and petty

Tedrin Blair Lindsay was off base in his review of the Lexington Philharmonic's season's closing. The headline's use of the word "lackluster" does not describe the performance I witnessed from either the soloist or the orchestra.

After Han Chen's delivery in the first half, the wildly enthusiastic crowd cheered him through two curtain calls. How can the reviewer call this program "underwhelming"? Lindsay admits that the Rachmanioff concerto was "rendered about as perfectly as it can be played, with technical precision and elegant phrasing."

He should have stopped right there but instead goes on with some pseudo-intellectual comments about Chen's passionless playing.

His commentary was full of contradictions and a reader can not take it seriously. Further, Lindsay's reference to Chen as "a wisp of a man" and that at times he could be seen "throwing his little body into a chord" is deplorable.

Lindsay also misrepresented the contemporary work, Ellis Island. His phrase, "Big surges border on the banal" doesn't make sense. So when he brands the entire work as "John Williams lite," I found his lack of insight more startling than his arbitrary judgment.

The Lexington Philharmonic needs all the support it can garner. When the orchestra performs poorly, the audience knows it; when the audience loves what it hears, the orchestra knows it. For those who did not attend the concert, please do not take this "wisp of a review" as a measure of the evening's program.

Lorayne R. Burns