John Eliot Gardiner on .....

From Alan Rusbridger's interview with John Eliot Gardiner in today's Guardian Bach edition.

Is Gardiner himself a Christian? "At the moment I perform the music I am a Christian, yes. Culturally, yes. Doctrinally and theologically, no. I can't put it better than that.

"I have to subscribe at the moment of performing, even preparing. And I'm acutely aware there's another realm of existence out there. But do I subscribe to the whole catechism? No, of course I don't. I can't."


"There is this perceived crisis of classical music. How much that is to do with successive governments - and particularly the Blair government - for not keeping music in schools as a vibrant and essential part of the curriculum, it's difficult to say. I feel that Blair has got just as much to answer for as Margaret Thatcher had in different ways - certainly in the dumbing down of culture.

"But there's still a group of people out there who place a high value on classical music and, even if they're not card-carrying Christians, look to Christian-inspired music for solace or for diversion or for inspiration. Whether it's because of the failure of the church or of the whole zeitgeist of contemporary culture is difficult to say".

Essential reading.

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