Matthew, It would have been great if you had gone a bit more into the politics of that particular orchestra's existence (and Berlusconian musical politics in general), maybe even connecting it to the large portion of kitsch that dominates the programming.The dramatic cuts and restructuring in the orchestras and musical life in Italy are very relevant to the US today, from Teachout's endorsement of shutting down smaller orchestras in favor of recordings and simulcasts of the big city bands and whatever we'll have left of the NEA when the present House of Representatives is done with it.
You're absolutely right—but the review was already 50 words over; and, in terms of reporting on the concert itself, the contemporary politics of the event was extremely read-between-the-lines (Serio, for instance, did co-wrote the Forza Italia anthem with Berlusconi, but an arrangement of Mameli's hymn is pretty neutral ground). Even the Italian consul name-dropped the coordinator of the 150th anniversary celebrations (Giancarlo Bravi) while studiously avoiding mentioning Berlusconi at all. So I figured I'd limit the demurrals to a Gramscian cameo, an analysis that could be plausibly applied to both a contemporary Italian and an American context with all too little difficulty. (Besides, getting a Gramsci mention into an American newspaper, that's a good day's work.)I was amused to see the Italian Interior Minister making veiled threats of Italy leaving the EU the very day the review ran; one wonders what the OSEU would change their name to.
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