Now that the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Saturday night series, to which I subscribe, has come to an end, I am not sure whether to be angry or sad at the lack of enthusiasm music director Andre Previn brought to the orchestra.

It would appear that Previn is tired, uninterested and has little enthusiasm for his position. To put it simply: He could have phoned in his assignments.

Where is the electric feeling that comes from watching a great orchestra and a great conductor; where is the excitement of reinterpreting old repertory; where is the thrill of seeing a new soloist make music history? Not this year at the Philharmonic for sure.

Then there was the 20th Century program led by Pierre Boulez on March 7. Why must we be subjected to music that belongs in some small classroom elsewhere? If, in 70 years, Bartok's "Wooden Prince" had never before been performed in Los Angeles, maybe there is a good reason. Surely there was ample opportunity. As for the lady in front of us who said of Berio's "Corale," " I liked it because I had never heard anything like it before," I'm sorry, such is not my rationale for going to the symphony.

Unfortunately, we are thinking long and hard about renewing for next season. Maybe we'll have to invest in a compact disc player and spend our Saturday nights in front of the stereo. Would that it were otherwise.


Los Angeles

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