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Gustavo Dudamel Simulcast Gets Mixed Reviews

Yesterday, enough people showed up at the AMC Century City for the $23-a-ticket LA Philharmonic North American live movie theater broadcast to necessitate the use of two screens. Overall, LA Times reviewer Mark Swed gives the first of three planned 2011 such events a marginal thumbs up, having gone so far as to measure the decibel level at Disney Concert Hall last Thursday on his cell phone in order to be able to compare.

Swed makes an interesting observation about the way movie screen visuals have the power to alter an audience’s perception of the music being played:

Many factors affect how one hears. With the musicians so big on the screen, they sound bigger. With the camera in constant motion, the ear tends to follow the eye. That proved effective when, at the beginning of “Slonimsky’s Earbox,” you could follow the musical line around the orchestra.

Over at NPR.org, Thomas Huizenga had much harsher words for the Sunday event, especially with regards to hostess Vanessa Williams‘ backstage contributions. At one point, a production assistant toting a teleprompter bled into the shot, after which the still-miked actress was heard to say, “Well, what happened?” Slonimsky, that’s what.

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