Ouch! Poor guy. Fame is brutal.
Dudamel's performance of the war horse Symphony No. 6 by Tchaikovsky received the most drubbing. Anthony Tommasini, of the New York Times, called it "rough and unfocused," while the San Francisco Chronicle's Joshua Kosman noted its "rhythmic and balance problems" and John von Rhein, from the Chicago Tribune, said it was simply "a disappointment."
And, while there was praise for Dudamel's expressiveness and charisma, and his ability to handle big, complex scores (he also took John Adams' City Noir on tour), a darker notion was also lurking, which Peter Dobrin of the Philadelphia Inquirer chose to highlight in his review.
"The most cynical listener," he writes, "figures that the Los Angeles Philharmonic has recalculated aspects of the [conductor's] job once considered ancillary (community relations, education, fund-raising) as primary now, and a winsome persona is more important than revelatory interpretations."
Dobrin goes on: "I'd rather think that the Los Angeles board, administration and players really believe they have a great musical thinker on their hands. But that's not who Dudamel is — not now, at 29, and not Wednesday night in Verizon Hall."