Hardly anywhere can one find an instance of any musicians going out of their way to show empathy for Wolfgang Mozart. More to the contrary — he was considered arrogant and rude, not easy to get along with; perhaps at times even downright obnoxious. Those around him during his life tended to find him irritating, to say the least. Little did they care that he was on a mission. He was the best, and he was doing his best. And what did most of his colleagues do? They conspired against him behind his back, stole commissions from him, denigrated his character, and, in short, did just about everything possible to sabotage him.
In short, it is fair to say that Mozart was not usually treated fairly.
Yet how did he respond? Did he pick up his toys and go home? Did he refuse to negotiate? (Well, let’s not count the incident with Count Arco :-0). Did he demand to be treated in a manner commensurate with his gifts or he would refuse to compose? Did he scour the music community of Vienna looking for colleagues who would work with him to demonize the forces that were locking him out of commissions? Did he personally attack the credibility of the Emperor for not doing more to protect him from his adversaries?
But what he did do was to focus on that which he did well and continue to do his best no matter what challenges he faced. By all reports, he was continuing to compose the day he died. And he managed to do so without showing ill will to anyone. He did so in gentleness. He continued to give — and even though death swallowed him up, the quiet victory of his childlike trust can be heard in all the music he left behind.
It is a fairly good bet that the MO players will end up faring better than Mozart did, no matter what the outcome. The public and the legislators will not allow the gross injustices of the current orchestra model to continue, no matter how ignored or dispirited the players may be tempted to feel.
In short, a Mozart doesn’t give up…
The MO players in the old days would probably not have allowed themselves to get backed into a corner. But now they consider themselves ‘the best’. It was even their habit, until recently, to misquote AR’s statement about the MO.
Unfortunately, this attitude seems to have had a detrimental affect on their ability to fight for themselves in the real world, which, as the rest of us know, has its injustices and ups and downs and where people are not always treated with the respect commensurate with their talents. It is almost as though they had been led astray by a false piper.
But hopefully, things are moving forward now…
The situation at the MO has progressed beyond demonizing either side. According to a Strib article by Graydon Royce, who has been a voice for the players throughout this difficult lockout, no ultimatum is being given nor voted on at this time.
It seems fair to say that we too can benefit the players by maintaining as positive and constructive an attitude as possible.
That there are negotiations going on is a tremendous move forward. Anything can be negotiated.
There may be even more to this than meets the eye…Mr. Lebrecht stands by his earlier statements:
So, although posting details from the MO players point of view may not be helpful to furthering the spirit of negotiation, this may well have been what occurred early on…
9.9.13 update…as it turns out, Mr. Lebrecht, was indeed correct about the offer and anticipated rejection by the players, and unfairly taken to task by those attempting to distract the public from the significance of what he posted. Our hats are off to him.:-)
There seem to be (at least) a couple of ironic facts involved in money and the current model for orchestras.
First, the orchestra associations are non-profit, when they really want to make money and need a great deal of it.
Second, the players are put in an Oliver Twist-like position, having, in a worst case scenario, to practically beg for their daily gruel. Even with the union blocking for them, the players are put at a disadvantage by being dependent on non-musicians to find the money to support them — or, in the case of Minnesota, to not…
It does seem ironic that the players who willingly signed themselves on as, in effect, pampered servants of the MOA, then turned and revolted when times got tough, rather than first saying to themselves, ‘wait a moment, would a revolt amount to cutting our own throats’?
It seems now that in the old days the MO players were a bit more flexible with management. The current group of players has tended to repeatedly misstate Alex Ross’ statement about a MO concert at CH where ‘for that one night’ they played like the best orchestra in the world, and turned it into ‘they are always the best orchestra in the world’. Even Mr. Ross corrected that misconception.
There seems to be a kind of rigidity to their mindset, and, with the greatest of respect for all of the players, having any sort of a chip on one’s shoulder tends to lead one to a dead end. It is almost as though they are being led astray by a false piper.