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.
“好啊，终于好了！” Anthony Tommasini写道，他可是一个以严肃著称的古典音乐评论家。
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.
这样去描述这个乐团的下一位指挥官，这个乐团迄今为止由Gustav Mahler and Pierre Boulez这样的音乐家担任过指挥，至少对于《时代》杂志的读者而言，这是一种苍白的表扬。
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.
但是我能确定的是，他能表现出很多有趣的乐章，但是我却应该不会去Avery Fisher Hall或者其他地方去听一场有趣的交响乐演出。
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 20 th century.
These 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 hopes to attract.