Christoph Eschenbach
© Eric Brissaud

In Houston, music lovers do no longer understand what’s going on in Salzburg. Beloved Maestro Eschenbach, Houston’s former Music Director was booed there at the opening night of Mozart’s ‘Così fan tutte’ with the Vienna Philharmonic. « The news is depressing for locals who think of Eschenbach in high regard », writes the ‘Culturmap Houston’.

While revered Maestro Eschenbach is getting standing ovations at each of his visits in Houston the conductor was described in the Austrian press as « sloppy and incoherent » with « no sense of dynamics » (Salzburger Nachrichten) and « unacceptable » (Kultur Heute).

We are told that due to the schedule of a tour in Australia, Eschenbach arrived in Salzburg only three days before the premiere and had barely the time to rehearse with the orchestra. This news prompted the comment of a former musician of the Philadelphia Orchestra, who wrote that the 73-year-old « was never prepared and lead very inefficient and completely disorganized rehearsals ». In Houston they can’t believe it: « Negative testimonials can deflate the morale of diehard fans who take descriptions such as these personally, particularly if they consider Eschenbach a point of pride in the history of the Houston Symphony, the importance of classical music and the value of fine arts in general in Houston. It’s like telling someone their baby is ugly. » And Culture Map concludes that, « … maybe European critics are a bunch of douches. »

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