Tuesday, November 06, 2007

BBC TV's Classical Star condemned as 'sick'


'A society that revels in others' public distress or humiliation, filmed in intrusive close-up, is a pretty sick society. Classical Star harks back to the worst excesses of the Roman arena. The children are exhibits in a human circus. The judges use the thumbs up/thumbs down technique of the Roman emperor; they offer us pretension, patronage and a deep sense of self-importance. We are all being coarsened by this continual diet of exploitation. '

That's just one paragraph from Hilary Davan Wetton's attack on BBC TV's Classical Star in today's Guardian. He hits the nail right on the head, he says it is bad for classical music. And Hilary isn't just a grumpy old blogger. He is a musician, teacher and conductor. And his new CD of Vaughan William's seasonal Hodie is out on Naxos this week.

Now, on the day of Ursula Vaughan William's memorial service let's remember a pilgrim's final progress.
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2 comments:

Pliable said...

Elsewhere Jessica Duchen says 'I can't decide whether I think it's A Good Thing because it gets music-making onto primetime TV for several weeks running...'

Jessica, did anyone ever tell you that public executions drew huge audiences during the French Revolution?

http://jessicamusic.blogspot.com/2007/11/wot-classical-music-on-primetime-tv.html

Jessica said...

Yes, they did, but I'm not sure that's entirely the point. After watching yesterday's episode I think this whole thing will prove just a drop in the ocean. Nobody will remember it this time next year. The most depressing thing about the programme is the way that the music itself is sidelined and chopped up. Evidently our friends at the Beeb don't think that viewers can cope with a whole movement of Mendelssohn.