Now what’s the ol’ windbag winding up to preach about this time? - -you may be asking yourself.
Escaping from the current divisive national mood and rampant dissension and having your head filled instead with exceptional beauty, that’s what. Being blown away by the likes of by Liang Wang, Principal Oboe of the New York Philharmonic, on Opening Night of the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York October 5. And soon, on Wednesday, October 27 with Lyric’s Bach to Brubeck “Chamzz” (Chamber Music and Jazz) evening.
I have been accused of ‘going on and on.’ People have even dared to suggest that Gustav Wind is a pseudonym, an excuse to blab a lot about what I love. In an age of buzz, hype, and tweets, this character can and will not be limited to 140 characters. No way! This is important.
You might say I’m old-fashioned, like Beethoven. Do you really think he should have limited himself to 140 notes in the Missa Solemnis or the Ninth Symphony? Despite our emphasis on multi-tasking and high praise for a visual garble-stream of simultaneous images on TV and computer screens, I am proudly among the few screaming for a return to profundity, depth, and serious reflection.
Listening to and watching Liang’s marathon recital was a glorious experience and a worthwhile expenditure of time. If you’ll pardon the obvious pun, punster that I am accused of being, I was blown away. His virtuosity, sensitivity, caring for every note, gorgeous, soulful flow of meticulously controlled sounds, as well as the musical variety of compositions, were simply astonishing.
Matt Herkowitz, David Rozenblatt, Mat Fieldes and the Sweet Plaintaine promise another such a positively headspinning evening. Don’t miss it. I certainly won’t, although you may not be able to identify me, because of my latest disguise, of which I am sooooo proud, so close to Halloween.
The more I listen to music while the world is in an uproar, the more I understand why Nero fiddled while Rome burned.
About Me, Gustav Wind, in my own words:
A bit of background: (Lest the Lyric misquote or misrepresent Gustav uniqueness, we add the following, in Gustav’s own words:)
"First, my customary caveat: writing about music is a very difficult task, even for a most experienced critic like me. Many of my colleagues don’t seem to notice the inherent problem in trying to describe a series of sounds which evaporated long ago. They usually chatter on and on, wielding their carving sets, making mincemeat out of the sincere, hardworking, well-intentioned mortals who set themselves the Herculean task of trying to recreate what they think the composer wanted. To complicate the issue, the musicians are always expected to give note-perfect, memorable performances in public."
"Who can really tell you how a symphony orchestra or a single musician sounded last week? I say: no one! I would like to bring their sounds to life, to place them in your ear and mind, to revive the emotions they elicited. Telling you that someone played fast, slow, loud, soft, in English, Italian, or any other language, simply does not achieve the intrinsically impossible goal. Yet we critics must go on, lest we be outdated like the covered wagon and replaced by recordings. I try to report in ways that may make you feel as if you were there, but you weren’t; and you can’t really know what happened. And if you were there, most often, when you read a review, you wonder if you and the critic were really in the same room at the same time."
"Please let me know your opinion of my writing and reviews. You can write to me at GUSTAVWIND@LYRICNY.ORG. I love getting attention! Please remember to use only the loftiest terms and the most elevated thoughts. Lyric's website and a person of my stature cannot and will not respond to inappropriate language which is so disgustingly prevalent in our society at this time."
"Looking forward to hearing from you (and to seeing you, if you can find me. I am known for my varied disguises, and no one has recognized me yet, in my many venerable years of concert-going and reviewing. As a result, some are naturally curious about my identity, and others have gone so far as to speculate that I am not a man at all but might be a female. What a ridiculous notion! What parent would name a daughter Gustav? Catch me, if you can….)"
Gustav Wind, E.C. (Eminent Critic), R.C. (Revered Critic) and
E.G. (Eminence Grise)"
"Copyright Gustav Wind 1999. This copyrighted work is the property of the author and may not be reproduced or used without permission of the author."
Please note: The Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York is proud to reproduce the writings (and ravings) of the unique windbag and extraordinary music critic, Gustav Wind. Gustav’s high standards are consistent with our own; and we believe that we can stand up to his scrutiny with our world-class artists, world-class concerts, and world-class music-making. We never fear when Gustav is near - - although we cannot say the same for all other critics.
However, Gustav’s reviews and writing represent the opinion and the writing of Gustav Wind and not of the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York, which disclaims all responsibility for its content.