That performance is the best! They never say how it’s the best.

Because they don’t know how it’s (supposedly) the best because they know nothing about music. They merely drop the names of celebrity musicians. They worship celebrity conductors, as if he is the only musician on stage.

The classical music armchair critics annoy me. I can’t stand them to be honest. I think of them as the trolls of classical music performances. They go on performance video comment sections and instead of having something positive to say about the performance they’re on — surely they can find something in the performance that they liked — they type about another performance and write, “The [name of celebrity conductor] is the best.” That’s intended to discredit the performance they’re on and promote the other one considered “the best.” Tacky. The performance they claim is the best usually is not — especially if it’s a symphonic choral work — but it’s conducted by a celebrity conductor or sung by a celebrity/well-known Chorus connected with the celebrity conductor. The performance they’re writing their comment on is performed by both a stellar Orchestra and Chorus, but neither are in the celebrity category. The classical music armchair critic trash are all about celebrity worshipping. Again, they have nothing positive to say about the performance they’re writing their comment on. No, it’s all about the celebrity performance. They never say which performance — if there is more than one — of several performances of the same piece by their celebrity conductor is the best. They can’t all be the best considering the musicians were not the same in each performance.

I find it tacky and rude to go on a comment section and say that some other performance is the best, especially whilst giving no details of how it’s the best. And they never say how, probably because they don’t know. They haven’t a clue. If I were to compare performances (which I would not do in this context on someone else’s channel), I’d give details of how one is better than the other. However, orchestral mis-management who runs these YT channels for various celebrity orchestras would not likely allow my comment on because they prefer the sheeple comments from the people pretending to be musicians, but who know nothing about music which is the case with the classical music armchair critic trash.

I listened to one of the performances — of three or four with the same conductor and Chorus — that was listed as “the best” and I found that it was very close in choral excellence to the one where the comment was written, but the Chorus for that performance where the comment was written was better. With the performance that the arm chair critic was gushing over, I heard some ugly sounds from the soprano section that were not in the lesser-known performance. Both Choruses mostly sang with perfect intonation, but the lesser-known Chorus had the absolute perfect blending of voices, whereas “the best” did not in places. Some people would say I’m nit-picking, but I’m just telling you what I heard and it’s these details that are missing of how one determines which performance is best. I guess ugly noises in the soprano section didn’t bother or matter to the armchair critic because it was all about the celebrity conductor, worshipping him and dropping his name. Their messiah conductor for the day.

Contrary to what you might think, I’ve learned from experience that orchestral mis-management prefer the armchair critic comments over comments written by a well-trained musician. I know from having had some very politely written and respectful comments deleted by orchestral mis-management because apparently they don’t want in-depth comments from trained musicians. Orchestral mis-management prefer to have shallow, one-liner comments from the musically-ignorant dropping names of celebrity conductors and choral ensembles without giving any details at all. Performance details are boring to Orchestral mis-management. Orchestral mis-management would likely say, “The classical music armchair critic trash — as you call them — are our audience, not people like you or well-trained musicians. The only well-trained musicians in the house are on stage, with few exceptions. There might be one or two in the audience. What’s sitting in the hall are sheeple who are just there to be entertained and nothing more and who don’t know Middle C from the treble clef, or who don’t know a soprano from an alto. Many can’t tell the difference between a well-trained and polished Symphony Chorus and your average podunk Church Choir. We prefer them, the average person in the audience who knows little or nothing about music. They buy our tickets to gush over celebrity conductors and other celebrity musicians in this tacky and shallow celebrity-worshipping pop culture we live in where in some concert halls we have to have a giant video screen on the wall above the Orchestra to entertain the stupid sheeple with who are really there to watch television or some non-classical music “film score.” The dumbed-down, lowest common denominator is our audience and we are perfectly comfortable with that, in part, because some of us in orchestral mis-management — as you call us — know little or nothing about music either. Some of us have some training in music. We are corporatists trying to tell our Orchestra what to do when, in some cases, we know nothing about music. Our performances are not for people like you who challenge the musically-ignorant, known as the classical music armchair critic trash.”

But usually, it doesn’t matter what the piece is, the classical music armchair critic trash love to show up on videos and drop the name of their favourite celebrity conductor — and they may have only learned one celebrity conductor’s name so they drop his name as often as possible — as having the “best” performance. It doesn’t matter in their simple minds that if it’s a symphonic choral work that the Chorus was different in each performance, so one performance was better than another in a choral sense regardless of them all being conducted by the same celebrity conductor. The same if the Orchestra was not the same in all performances.

But with these simple minds known as the classical music armchair critic trash, there’s only one musician on stage and that’s their god celebrity conductor, who doesn’t play a note! And from what I’ve seen of conductors these days, most just wave their arms around. Some conductors look like they’re swimming, but rarely do I see a conductor beating time or conducting the way we were taught to conduct at the Conservatory where I trained. Which makes one wonder: How did some of these celebrity conductors get where they are, considering the way they conduct? Who did they have sex with to get in their roles as conductor? You might remember that conductor James Levin was accused of sexually harassing many women, and the Met fired him, all his engagements were cancelled and it ended his career. He died in 2021. Sex and politics run throughout music like it runs through everything else. Of course the conservative and prudish classical music audience can’t bare to hear what I’m saying. They usually choose Denial instead. Chau.—el barrio rosa