Trashing Brands and Other Stuff
Updates on Stories From 2005-2007
Over the past year and a half that this cranky little e-zine has been in existence, I’ve touched on many current issues and tried to relate them to your life and particularly to your business and career.
The Marshall Field’s continuing brouhaha was one of a number of stories covered in these pages that suddenly reappeared in the news just during the past three weeks. Among the others:
7/26/05. A Celebration for Women Everywhere: Victory Amidst a Broken System and a Flawed Process
This was the account of Marin Alsop becoming the first female conductor of a major American symphony orchestra. It was a messy arrangement because the musicians were not consulted. Her tenure starts this fall.
Meanwhile, Alsop guest conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra and sent the audience into orbit. I sat in the Conductor’s Circle—several rows of seats behind the orchestra where viewers are facing the conductor and can watch the interaction with the musicians. Alsop, who was clad in black slacks and a long, black silk coat-like garment, was magical—fluid and intense—making continual eye contact with the musicians and wonderfully expressive.
My neighbor, Peter Dobrin, the usually reserved senior music critic of The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote:
Saturday night with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Alsop showed there is talent behind the news, a conductor who is a real personality … But the bigger statement came in what Alsop conducted and how strongly each piece reminded us what art can do: a new concerto for double bass by John Harbison, and Copland’s Symphony No. 3 … Harbison’s piece referenced the history of the instrument for which it was written. The Copland, however, came as an enormous surprise, at least to me. The work, premiered in 1946, is established as the American symphony. What’s so striking about it now is how it remains a most eloquent expression of what America is all about. Music can do all that? When you get to the fourth movement, when Copland quotes his own “Fanfare for the Common Man,” you have no doubt … For all of its common-man themes, the Symphony No. 3 is a complex work, and Alsop pressed upon it her view that its message remains urgent.