The star of this morning's festival coverage was P&C Spoleto critic Blair Tindall. tweaking a tradition by moving the paper's festival wrap-up column to the final Sunday (rather than the Tuesday after the festival, when everyone from out of town has gone home). Her 1A intro sets up a longer piece inside.
Blair points out that she attended 37 events in 17 days... an impressive total to be sure, but her average (2.176 ppd) doesn't even come close to the nine performances (plus three or four art exhibits) that I attended in a single day in 2004. So nice try, Blair, but I still rule...
Our other critical offerings are slim, limited to William Furtwangler's review of Chamber Music Series Program No. 2,399. We kid because we care. Anyway, long story short, he liked it.
Anyway, we've been rounding up newspaper coverage here at Spoletoblog since the start of the festival, and I'd like to take this opportunity to tip my hat to the critics. No human activity is more prone to criticism than criticism itself, and the people who write about the arts for the P&C aren't doing it for the wealth and prestige that comes with the job. I think our critics genuinely love the arts, and for that I commend and thank them.
Running this blog has caused me to think quite a bit about criticism -- what it is, what it should be, what makes it good or bad. I still haven't reached a solid opinion on those questions, but I'm absolutely convinced that the standards for doing it well are extremely daunting. After a conversation with a local artist last week, I suggested that he should apply to become one of our critics and put his knowledge to work. "Oh no," he said. "I don't want everybody to hate me."
It was an honest reaction, and a telling one, too. So to all the critics, professional or not: Thank you for what you've brought to the festival... whether I agreed with you or not.
-- daniel conover