Sunday, July 22, 2007

BBC Proms - dumbing down is contagious

Today's Observer seems determined to follow the BBC down the slippery slope to editorial oblivion. No less than two pages are devoted to a vacuous article whose title, 'From Iggy to Gigli: my journey to the Proms', says it all. Observer journalist Sean O'Hagan is given some free tickets to help puff the BBC Proms to the crossover audience, and reports: - At other times, though, I was totally baffled by what I was hearing. And some of it was simply was too much to take in, particularly, though it pains me to say it, the more modern stuff: Adams's Symphony No 4, and especially Sam Hayden's cacophonous Substratem.

If we ignore the misspelling of Sam Hayden's Substratum and a later incorrect reference to the "Soweto String Quartet", I am sure John Adams' would be surprised to learn that he has written four symphonies, and even more surprised to find one of them confused with Charles Ives Symphony No. 4, which was in fact performed in the July 17 Prom.

But as another journalist and BBC presenter, the inimitable Norman Lebrecht, recently wrote: - Esoteric as it may seem, the supposed fraud shows up the flaws of a classical blogosphere that trades in unchecked trivia. Classical blogs are spreading but their nutritional value is lower than a bag of crisps. Unlike financial blogs, which yield powerful and profitable secrets, classical web-chat is opinion-rich and info-poor. Until bloggers deliver hard facts and estate agents turn into credible critics, paid-for newspapers will continue to set the standard as only show in town.

Now read about a great journalist who wouldn't have made those kind of mistakes
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2 comments:

petemaskreplica said...

It was also quite funny to read the white, middle-aged, middle class journalist Sean O'Hagan's view that the main problem with classical music is too many white, middle-aged, middle class people in the audience.

Pliable said...

The link to the blog written by the poster above is worth following.