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Last Build Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2012 07:56:34 -0500

 



Comment #335539 on Gergiev Appears in Putin Campaign Commercial

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 07:56:34 -0500

@Mr. Corsini: It may seem academic, but there is a profound difference between "understanding and forgiving" (your words) and "not judging" (my words. Russians living in Russia who are middle-aged and older can remember the days when their friends and colleagues simply disappeared. We can suspect those conditions are returning or on the verge, but we don't know and are not in a position to understand what it is like to live like that. I think that Vladimir Ashkenazy's admonition to westerners, "If you weren't there, don't judge!" is certainly appropriate for the old days, and I suspect may apply again.



Comment #335536 on Gergiev Appears in Putin Campaign Commercial

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 07:17:31 -0500

Music and politics have mixed throughout history whether one likes it or not. Just taking Russia as an example, it's a country where Shostakovich was frequently at odds with the authorities, who wanted him to write propaganda glorifying the state. He basically had to accept their demands while subverting them at the same time. Or you had musicians like the cellist Rostropovich who could no longer accept working under the oppressive conditions of the Communist government and defected. And plenty of other artists have found themselves in similar situations. To say music and politics don't mix is silly in light of the ways music is routinely used a political tool. What's shameful is the way Gergiev, Netrebko and other public figures are supporting a regime that has so blatantly disregarded human rights, silenced journalists and stifled free speech.



Comment #335535 on Gergiev Appears in Putin Campaign Commercial

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 06:16:21 -0500

Just like religion, music and politics don't mix. Who cares about his political views? I'm vastly more interested in his Mussorgsky. Lots of Russians seem to like Putin. So what?



Comment #335526 on Gergiev Appears in Putin Campaign Commercial

Sun, 04 Mar 2012 02:33:33 -0500

To judge a musician for his political opinions is wrong. Just listen to the music.



Comment #335455 on Gergiev Appears in Putin Campaign Commercial

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 13:34:01 -0500

I agree with G. Corsini, and found it very disheartening to read about Mr. Gergiev’s, Ms. Netrebko’s and other Russian musicians’ support for Putin, especially in light of Putin's and the Russian government's unwillingness to support the UN resolution concerning Syria and condemn the great human tragedy occurring there. If only Mr. Gergiev and Ms. Netrebko had the ethical consciences of the violinist Gidon Kremer and composer Arvo Part, who have addressed the injustices of the Putin regime. Gidon Kremer has dedicated his and the Kremerata Baltica CD DeProfundis to "all those who refuse to be silenced - namely to Mikhail Khodorkovsky" - who is currently imprisoned in Siberia, and considered by many to be a symbol of democratic change in Russia. Arvo Part has dedicated his Fourth Symphony to M. Khodorkovsky. This music truly speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves. I have searched for other CDs by classical musicians dedicated to a human rights issue, but have not yet been able to find them.



Comment #335447 on Gergiev Appears in Putin Campaign Commercial

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 12:47:09 -0500

Dr. Lawrence had it right (both in what he said and wanted to say). Mr. Meltzer should consider what the brave people of Syria are doing to address oppression, not deem compliance with "fascist" demands both understandable or forgivable, whether for professional reasons, personal safety or otherwise. Using one's international reputation to support a "dictator" is inexcusable and merely diminishes that reputation and includes the holder thereof in the circle of those who support and benefit from the "dictatorship" for personal gain.



Comment #335412 on Gergiev Appears in Putin Campaign Commercial

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 02:51:51 -0500

For a conductor to be a fascist is part of the job description. This should be no surprise, and perhaps we should not judge. It was not that long ago that such support would have been required in Russia for reasons of professional and personal safety. It is possible that those conditions are returning.



Comment #335397 on Gergiev Appears in Putin Campaign Commercial

Fri, 02 Mar 2012 20:28:14 -0500

Just goes to show again that musicians can support vicious KGB power-mongers, just as some supported Hitler. (And if WQXR edits this comment, which is very civil given what I really wish to say, rest assured I will never contribute to it again.)