Over the weekend, a pair of EU based media outlets reported that Sirius XM’s Met Opera Radio channel has removed all recordings conducted by James Levine. While details are slim, assuming the reports are accurate, one key piece of missing information is why they were removed.
Given ongoing litigation, it’s plausible the recordings could have been removed at the insistence of either The Met or Levine. If the latter, we’ll see where that road leads but if the former, it serves as the latest volley in the war that is the we should/shouldn’t broadcast Levine’s recordings.
There are no shortage of reasonable perspectives related to why Levine’s recordings should be put out to pasture, either temporarily or permanently. While I don’t subscribe to this position, I understand it. At the very least, supporting boycotts until all litigation is settled is certainly a reasonable expectation.
Each of these recordings serve as a brick in the memorial reminding everyone just how bad things became when the entire field facilitates predatory behavior.
To that end, there is more long-term value keeping conduct such as this at the forefront and permanently connected to these works. Burying recordings for prolonged periods of time only work against that goal.