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A music review you wouldn't want to receive

Philip Hamburger, an author for many years at the New Yorker died in April.

He usually wrote about political and historical issues but occasionally he wrote about other things such as music.

A May 3, 2004 article about him by David Remnick, the current editor of the New Yorker, contains the following:

In 1948, he went off to the Met's performance of "Rigoletto" and returned to the office to do a critical deed. "The question that came to mind was: How is it possible to make 'Rigoletto' sound dull, thick, interminable, sticky, and sick? Little boys playing airs from 'Rigoletto' on combs could gather crowds on a side street any day..... But leave 'Rigoletto' to the Metropolitan and the trick is miraculously done."


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It's perhaps fitting that I should be reading this at the exact moment that the radio is playing a recording of Jussi Björling singing La donna è mobile.

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