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John Malkovich reads the bad reviews of Beethoven aloud: 'He harbors both doves and crocodiles'

The two-time Oscar nominee transforms into one of the meanest music critics for the live stage show.

John Malkovich reads the bad reviews of Beethoven aloud: 'He harbors both doves and crocodiles'
Cover Image Source: John Malkovich attends the "Seneca" photocall during the 73rd Berlinale International Film Festival Berlin on February 20, 2023, in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Dominique Charriau/Getty Images)

John Malkovich has begun his stint on Aleksey Igudesman's live stage show, "The Music Critic," where Igudesman has constructed a sardonic mix of the most evil music critiques of the last centuries composed about some of the greatest works of music. The 69-year-old is playing a music critic, but one who is truly evil and who "batters, insults and laughs at the music of composers like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Brahms, Schumann and more, whose works premiered to jeers and negative press for performers and composer alike," according to Play Bill.

Image Source: John Malkovich attends
Image Source: John Malkovich attends "The New Pope" photocall during the 76th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 01, 2019 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Stefania D'Alessandro/Getty Images)


"I have always loved the opportunity to collaborate on 'The Music Critic' with Aleksey Igudesman, Hyung-ki Joo, and many other gifted and thoughtful musicians," the actor shared. The tour was supposed to take place back in 2020 but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "We are all happy to be back on the road, and for the first time also in the USA, participating in an evening which consists of some of the greatest compositions in the history of classical music, paired with the perhaps rather unexpected initial reactions those compositions elicited from some of the world's renowned music critics, along with some other surprises," Malkovich said to the outlet.




According to NPR, Malkovich reads snarky reviews from the time the music was written. Speaking of Frederic Chopin, he says he "has, by some means or the other which we cannot divine, obtained an enormous reputation too often refused to composers who possess several times his genius. Mr. Chopin is by no means a composer of the ordinary; he is worse." Even Beethoven is described as someone who "first fills the soul with sweet melancholy, and then shatters it by a mass of barbarous chords. He seems to harbor together both doves and crocodiles."

Fans can expect the show to be part concert, part theater, which is what drew the actor to the role. "I always say theater is like surfing because you kind of paddle out on your little board. You turn your back to the sun and you wait for a wave. You're not the wave, which I think most people think they are, but you're really not the wave," Malkovich shared.


Igudesman added that there's something more to take away from the show. It's a lesson everyone can learn. Everyone will get criticized and not even the greats can be spared. "We think of it as a very life-affirming and a very much art-affirming piece, and an inspirational piece for people in the creative industry to keep going," Igudesman said profoundly. "You know, take all the criticism in stride, enjoy it, have fun with it because you're going to get it. There's no one who's going to be spared." Sure to say, the show will indeed provide some critical reviews of the greatest musicians of all time.

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