Letters to the Arts Editor

Berthe Morisot’s painting “Mozart Sonata.”
Smith College Museum of Art
Berthe Morisot’s painting “Mozart Sonata.”

Musical notes

I am a devoted reader of Sebastian Smee’s articles in the Globe. In fact, the first thing I look for each morning is any article he might have written for the issue. I particularly love his many fascinating, beautifully written “Frame by Frame” pieces about holdings in area museums and his intelligent commentary on the paintings and artists. There’s always another lesson to be learned, but in the most delightful prose.

My search was pleasantly rewarded by a “Frame by Frame” article today (“Freedom of youth in an older woman’s picture,” g, May 7). However, this time I have my own observation in response to his. In his writing about Berthe Morisot’s painting “Mozart Sonata,” he describes the violinist, Morisot’s daughter Julie, as being without a bow. To the contrary, her hand position seems to indicate that she is playing pizzicato, and it looks like her bow is lying on the table at her side.

Other than that, I remain his devoted reader and student! Many thanks for the learning and joy he brings.




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I’ve never written to a newspaper or journalist before, but feel compelled to say how much I enjoy Sebastian Smee’s “Frame By Frame” work. I enjoy art but know very little, and I appreciate his descriptions of these treasures and the stories of the artists’ lives.



Ageless Balanchine

Earlier this season, I unfortunately had to miss Boston Ballet’s “Sleeping Beauty,” for which Thea Singer wrote a terrific review that left me feeling I missed something special. Regarding her assessment of the company’s program “Chroma,” including George Balanchine’s “Serenade” and “Symphony in C,” I couldn’t agree more (“ ‘Chroma’ spins from grit to lyricism to classicism,” g, May 4). Although I thoroughly enjoyed “Chroma” by choreographer Wayne McGregor, I never tire of anything I have seen by Balanchine. It always challenges and surprises me. I am what one could call a novice when it comes to the technical and some of the artistic aspects of modern and classical dance, but I have always found Singer’s reviews educational and beautifully written, so it was wonderful to read her comments on Balanchine as well as the rest of the program. I also thought the orchestra performed the pieces beautifully!



No masterpiece here


I read Matthew Gilbert’s review of “Mr. Selfridge,” the new PBS “Masterpiece Classic” miniseries, and could not agree more (“Piven not good as gold in ‘Mr. Selfridge,’ ” g, March 30). Jeremy Piven is not well cast. His dynamic range as an actor appears to be quite limited, and the story line is not very compelling. There are many fine actors in the series, but none grabs me.



Symphony slights

At the four wonderful BSO concerts that I have attended this season, I have become painfully aware of a growing trend: the mass exodus as soon as the baton has been lowered for the last time. What’s up? Does the last bus for Brooksby Village leave at 10 p.m. sharp? Certainly the applause was as enthusiastic as ever, but the orchestra-section seating was emptied by at least a third before the end of the ovation. Seated in Row X with a cross aisle in front of us, we stood to applaud and were jostled by the stream of people departing at speed. I could barely see the stage, and someone trod on my foot without apology, as if I were the problem. I wonder what world-famous musicians — in this case, Maestro Bernard Haitink — must think of this rude behavior. On May 4, there was a tribute to two retiring orchestra members (announced in the program book), but little respect for their years of service. How disappointing for them. I would like to suggest that Symphony ushers stand in front of the doors until the orchestra leaves the stage.


Beverly Farms

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