By and large, the reaction to this week's video of the Seattle Symphony performing "Baby Got Back" with Sir-Mix-A-Lot was rapturous.
The video quickly rocketed past 1,000,000 views—bolstered by images circulating around the internet of the joyous mob of dancing women Sir-Mix-A-Lot invited onstage during the performance. One woman in particular, Shawn Bounds (known by the internet as "the lady in the black dress") became something of an overnight star thanks to her enthusiastic and unexpected booty-moves.
BUT—when you have that much fun, there are bound to be some people boo-hooing you. Today, the New York Times published an article in which the music director of the Phoenix Symphony, Tito Muñoz, and the Times own James R. Oestreich question the merit of the Seattle Symphony's decision to integrate the classical realm with that of pop music.
“We’ve learned that that doesn’t really work,” Muñoz said. “Pop concerts create an audience for pop concerts, not an audience for classical symphonic concerts.”
Oestreich, rather stuffishly, notes, "I won’t presume to review things so far outside my ken as Sir Mix-A-Lot. But I am left to wonder what a symphony orchestra can meaningfully add to this kind of repertory, notwithstanding Gabriel Prokofiev’s rudimentary orchestrations here.”