The initial section of the review gives some pieces of contextual information that are relevant and interesting to know, and describes characteristics of Brett’s compositions with some examples. While this makes an attractive introduction to the interview, the latter is highly descriptive with no visual or sound sample provided, which makes the whole paragraph less effective than it could have been. What also remain untold are some basic yet essential details about the interviewee, such as that he “has won his field’s top awards, including… Grawmeyer award and UNESCO’s International Rostrum of Composers award” (Cosic, 2014) or that he has extensive career experiences and musical relations other than those with the Berlin Philharmonic. Due to these personal, abstract expressions and lack of information, the initial section has much to improve.
The very following section, the actual interview, does not have enough introductory notes and, again, leaves out necessary information such as how the interview was conducted – online chatting, e-mail, or meeting – and whether it was a formal or a casual one. Nevertheless, the questions are diverse in topic, dealing with personal life, musical features, artistic influences and inspirations, and draw good responses. The last two questions, however, seem to appear somewhat suddenly, as relevant contexts are discussed insufficiently. They seek to understand the composer’s extra-musical inspirations (novel and visual art), yet there is no section in the article dealing with it, whereby readers are faced with a completely new information without any preparation.
There are few other problems to be found. One minor mistake is to finish the article with a link to another artist’s (though being a wife of the interviewee) website, which made the ending look like an advertisement with less relevance to the composer, especially with no conclusion following it to recap what was said of him. The images present another issue. Not only does each photo come with no description, but also is there no indication whether photos are original or taken from others. The photo of Brett with an instrument, for instance, was taken by Pawel Kopczynski as credited in another article (Clark, 2014), a piece of information missing in Newman’s. Overall, I found the interview nice, but the article could have been better.
Clark, Don. “St. Louis Symphony Connects Brett Dean and Beethoven.” I Care if you Listen. February 11, 2014. Accessed March 12, 2017. https://www.icareifyoulisten.com/2014/02/st-louis-symphony-conncects-brett-dean-beethoven/
Cosic, Miriam. “Easygoing nature of musical powerhouse Brett Dean.” The Australian. December 29, 2014. Accessed March 11, 2017. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/music/easygoing-nature-of-musical-powerhouse-brett-dean/news-story/2f82d95d733b52b8813878620897d432?nk=233b07e38c7129686a2dbe79b35a002c-1489330164
Newman, Geoffrey. “From Orchestral Player to ‘Experimental’ Composer: An interview with Australian Composer Brett Dean.” Vancouver Classical Music. March, 2014. Accessed March 11, 2017. https://www.vanclassicalmusic.com/brett-dean-interview/