The decision of the New York Philharmonic to hire Alan Gilbert as its next music director has been the talk of the classical-music world ever since the sudden announcement of his appointment in 2009. For the most part, the response has been favorable, to say the least. “Hooray! At last!” wrote Anthony Tommasini, a sober-sided classical-music critic.
One of the reasons why the appointment came as such a surprise, however, is that Gilbert is comparatively little known. Even Tommasini, who had advocated Gilbert’s appointment in the Times, calls him “an unpretentious musician with no air of the formidable conductor about him.” As a description of the next music director of an orchestra that has hitherto been led by musicians like Gustav Mahler and Pierre Boulez, that seems likely to have struck at least some Times readers as faint praise.
For my part, I have no idea whether Gilbert is a great conductor or even a good one. To be sure, he performs an impressive variety of interesting compositions, but it is not necessary for me to visit Avery Fisher Hall, or anywhere else, to hear interesting orchestral music. All I have to do is to go to my CD shelf, or boot up my computer and download still more recorded music from iTunes.
Devoted concertgoers who reply that recordings are no substitute for live performance are missing the point. For the time, attention, and money of the art-loving public, classical instrumentalists must compete not only with opera houses, dance troupes, theater companies, and museums, but also with the recorded performances of the great classical musicians of the 20th century. There recordings are cheap, available everywhere, and very often much higher in artistic quality than today’s live performances; moreover, they can be “consumed” at a time and place of the listener’s choosing. The widespread availability of such recordings has thus brought about a crisis in the institution of the traditional classical concert.
One possible response is for classical performers to program attractive new music that is not yet available on record. Gilbert’s own interest in new music has been widely noted: Alex Ross, a classical-music critic, has described him as a man who is capable of turning the Philharmonic into “a markedly different, more vibrant organization.” But what will be the nature of that difference? Merely expanding the orchestra’s repertoire will not be enough. If Gilbert and the Philharmonic are to succeed, they must first change the relationship between America’s oldest orchestra and the new audience it hops to attract. 【題組】23. The author believes that the devoted concertgoers
(A)ignore the expenses of live performances.
(B)reject most kinds of recorded performances.
(C)exaggerate the variety of live performances.
(D)overestimate the value of live performances.
A study involving 8,500 teenagers from all social backgrounds found thai most of them are ignorani when it comes to money. The findings, the first in a scries of reports from NatWesl that has started a five-year research project into teenagers and money, arc particularly worrying as this generation of young people is likely to be burdened with greater debts man any before.
University tuition fees (学费) are currently capped at £3,000 annually, but this will be reviewed next year and the Government is under enormous pressure to raise the ceiling.
In the research, the teenagers were presented with die terms of four different loans but 76 per cent failed to identify the cheapest. The young people also predicted that they would be earning on average £ 31.000 by the age of 25, although the average salary for those aged 22 to 29 is just £ 17,815. The teenagers expected to be in debt when they finished university or training, although half said that they assumed the debts would be less than £ 10.000. (A)verage debts for graduates are £ 12，363.
Stephen Moir, head of community investment at the Royal (B)ank of Scotland Group which owns NatWest, said. "The more exposed young people are to financial issues, and the younger they become aware of them, the more likely they arc to become responsible, forward-planning adults who manage their finances confidently and effectively."
Ministers are deeply concerned about the financial pressures on teenagers and young people because of student loans and rising housing costs. They have just introduced new lessons in how to manage debts. Nikki Fairweathcr. aged 15. from St Helens, said that she had benefited from lessons on personal finance, but admitted thai she still had a lot to learn about money. 【題組】72.Which of the following can be found from the five-year research project?
(A). Students understand personal finances differently.
(B). University tuition fees in (E)ngland have been rising.
(C). Teenagers tend to overestimate their future earnings.
(D). The students' payback ability has become a major issue.
Feather cloaks are the most spectacular of all objects of native Hawaiian manufacture. In the
highly stratified society of the islands before their discovery by Captain James Cook in 1788, the
cloaks were visual symbols of power and prestige, worn only by ranking male chiefs on state
occasions and in battle. They were never very numerous, but powerful chiefs often acquired
several through inheritance or as battle prizes.
Although the feathers were gathered by the common people to defray part of their taxes and
women were permitted to clean and sort them, only men of high rank, surrounded by sacred
taboos, were allowed to make the cloaks. The manufacturing process involved tying small
bunches of red, yellow, green, or black feathers with olona fiber. Large cloaks like the royal robe
worn by Kamehameha I, the first king of all the islands, required some half-million feathers.
Today these cloaks are ethnological treasures, but to the early ship captain they were little
more than seemingly plentiful curiosities that the Hawaiians highly valued but gave away or
traded for such trifles as iron knives. In turn, the Europeans traded these curiosities. This practice
began with Cook’s officers, who traded the cloak in Leningrad in exchange for provisions.
In 1825, Lord Byron, commander of the British ship Blonde, predicted that “the splendid
war-cloak” would soon be more easily found in Europe than in Hawaii. Brigham found only five
in Hawaii when he made his featherwork survey in 1899. Today twenty of the fifty known cloaks
are still in the British Isles. 【題組】
46.The early ship captains who visited Hawaii were _______.
(A) aware of the historical and cultural significance of the feather cloaks
(B) convinced of the usefulness of the feather cloaks
(C) inclined to overestimate the availability of the feather cloaks
(D) curious about what the native thought of the feather cloaks