29 July 2008

Staggering mediocrity all over Salzburg

Say what? The grotesque Eurotrash production of the Salzburg Don Giovanni is being upstaged by one mediocre maestro! This is unacceptable, how dare he.

Far more bemusing than the choice of (production designer Claus) Guth for a premature new "Don Giovanni'' is the decision to hand the baton to Bertrand de Billy. Nikolaus Harnoncourt was fascinating and eccentric at the last production. Now a conductor whose ideas nobody understood has been replaced by one who has no ideas at all.

De Billy's mediocrity is staggering. The Vienna Philharmonic dispenses with most vibrato in an empty gesture to period performance. It otherwise plays as if this were just another job on a boring weekend.