INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
New York Times JUNE 18, 2006 - by Randy Walters
Letters To The Editor
I enjoyed Wendy McClure's True-Life Tale (June 4) that chronicled the less-than-enthusiastic reception Brian Eno's Thursday Afternoon received in Rossi's, "an amiable dive bar". I am concerned, however, that readers unfamiliar with Eno's work might accept the reaction of the bar's patrons as informed and legitimate criticism. In that setting, Bach's Goldberg Variations would have evoked a similar response.
Thursday Afternoon is an organically complex work best experienced through a quality sound-reproduction system, in an environment without intrusive noise that would obscure the myriad intricate details suspended through the recording's dynamic range. McClure's "Ting... ting.... ting..." characterization of the piece, while not inappropriate in context, is analogous to reducing Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to "da-da-da-DUM"; there's really quite a lot lost in the process.
I hope your readers will not leave the denizens of Rossi's with the last word on this quietly sublime music.