CPO is a local treasure

By Christine Kirk

Editors, the Gauntlet,
Re: “The symphony, cheap” Feb. 3, 2000

A recent review of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra is “by no means Canada’s greatest” journalistic effort. It displayed incredible ignorance towards classical music and musicians.

Reading the article in question, I felt very angry that such a badly researched article, so full of ignorant accusations and outright falsehoods was published. I appreciate the attempt to promote such an important aspect of our society,
but the slander of the CPO that followed completely destroyed the attempt.

The statement “the CPO is by no means Canada’s greatest orchestra” is one of the most ludicrous statements I have ever read. As it happens, this “by no means the greatest” orchestra has received a Juno nomination in the category of large ensemble for its recent recording Night in the Gardens of Spain. As well, CPO is under the direction of world-renowned maestro Hans Graf, who commutes to Calgary from his home in Salzburg, Austria to perform with the orchestra. Why would he bother such a journey if the CPO did not offer a wealth of talent to work with?

If this shallow statement were all, it could possibly be forgiven, but the arguments to back it up are some of the most poorly researched that I have ever encountered. Having simply listened carefully to the music, and comparing it to a recording might have avoided the following misunderstandings. Yes, the brass did play loudly in the opening of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.4 being as it featured the brass section. I can assure you that the musicians were not playing out of context, but simply following the musical notation of Tchaikovsky. As well, the french horn player that left the stage in the Bernstein piece did so to play an offstage solo and not to find misplaced music as insinuated. How dare you insinuate that the CPO is unprofessional? The musicians in the CPO are phenomenal, and the level of professionalism of the group is of a very high degree.

After reading your article intending to publicize the Loft Club, I find it hard to imagine anyone wanting to take advantage of the deal or even attend the CPO at all. What can I say to reassure the readers that an evening at the CPO is never a disappointment?

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