Decca's latest attempt to boost its flagging fortunes by once again exploiting the 'god rock' genre was the subject of a commendably critical piece in yesterday's Independent by Jessica Duchen. Voice from Assisi is a new album from Alessandro Brustenghi, a Franciscan friar from Assisi, and Jessica's concerns parallel those expressed by me in an earlier post about another of Decca's 'god rock' projects - their 2010 album with the nuns of L'Abbaye de Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation at Le Barroux. But it is not just concerns about the cynically exploitative nature of this project that need to be raised. What also needs highlighting is the breathtaking lack of creativity, vision and integrity exhibited - with a few notable exceptions - by those who now run our record companies, classical radio stations and other major arts organisations. Every day we hear complaints about falling CD sales, cuts in funding, shrinking audiences, insolvent orchestras and lack of recognition for classical music. Instead of complaining, the great and good of classical music should reflect on these words from Lama Anagarika Govinda - 'It is our own karma that we live in this "imperfect" world which in the ultimate sense is our own creation'.
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