Orchestras once boasted unmistakable musical identities, but an emotionally sanitised age has brought about a lamentable universality of sound, says Julian Haylock in an article from “The Strad”
“The single most lamentable feature of contemporary orchestral string sections is their lack of a strong, corporate identity. Admittedly, taking all levels of playing into account, from youth orchestras to the highest echelons of the profession, we are living in something of a technical golden age. Half a century ago, most provincial string players simply weren’t up to the virtuoso challenges set by the likes of Richard Strauss or even Tchaikovsky. Nowadays they take such things virtually in their stride. The level of string expertise is astonishing. If only this extended to musical personality.”
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