Meanwhile, back at the Pass: In 1993 I wrote of Enrique Diemecke, after a regular Philharmonic subscription concert, as a “flashy but self-indulgent conductor, out to establish his individuality with fancy effects and distortions unrelated to the music,” and his latest Latino program at the Hollywood Bowl didn‘t inspire me to eat those words. And now, I hear, he’s up for consideration for the Long Beach Symphony job.
Smitten with what we might as well call Virus Mauceri (except that John Mauceri‘s audience pep talks are far better), Diemecke felt called upon to slather nearly every one of the works on his program -- including Revueltas’ substantial and serious Homage to Garcia Lorca -- with a smear of “Look, Ma” cutenesses that included mucho jabberwock (some of it factually erroneous as well) and, during one piece, some deep knee bends that just looked stupid on a middle-aged conductor in formal getup. If there was anything noteworthy about his stint from a musical point of view, it was simply his remarkable feat in making Ravel‘s Bolero dull. Where were those helicopters when we needed them?