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Three cheers for Daniel Ginsberg’s comments (“An American Tragedy,” 7/12) on the compositional skills of John Williams and Leonard Slatkin’s canonizing him as being one of the greatest composers of all time. Williams has to be one of the greatest and richest examples of musical mediocrity in over a century. Any high school band kid seriously interested in music could compose a better march than the one Williams gained fame with for Star Wars. If Slatkin wants to continue the tradition of musical maple syrup, at least concentrate on Korngold, Steiner, Waxman, and Newman. These people had genuine talent.
As for new music that smacks of interesting atonality, forget it. How much “new money” coming from the under-50 age group is supporting the National Symphony Orchestra? And how much “old money” from 50 and over determines what Slatkin will dump upon his long-suffering players? They will continue to grind out the cheery sounds of the likes of Mozart—who, with a few outstanding exceptions, was the John Williams of his time.