Critiquing the Critique:

Phan is a lyric tenor and there are moments, in the Britten especially especially, when a bit more weight of tone would have been welcome, but otherwise his singing is impeccably correct” [1].

I’m sorry, what? There we have it kids: the exact sentence which encapsulates the current zeitgeist of classical music commentary, and the level of listening we have finally descended to.

‘Impeccably correct.’

I read this sentence early on a Saturday morning whilst en route to teaching. Saturday morning is an awful time to teach - either you come with an awful hangover, or you come wishing you had an awful hangover. Anyways, I was flicking through The Guardian, and came across this gem of a review by regular content contributor, Andrew Clements. I quite like Andrew’s writing - the majority of which is a collection of live concert and recording reviews. But this reductive and rather pathetic response - to what in all honesty could have been a fairly tepid offering - is symptomatic of an industry that lost its identity a long time ago, and now seems to rate quality by how accurate the product is.

‘Impeccably correct.’

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