In search of the lost journalism
Alex Ross' collection of New Yorker writing Listen to This, recently published in paperback, is a salutary reminder of the depths to which music journalism has sunk elsewhere in the mainstream media. But where to find an alternative to the standard diet of reheated press releases other than in The New Yorker? Well, Amazon customer reviews may seem an unlikely source, but most professional music journalists could learn a thing or two from this contribution from Paul Magnussen:
This album forms one of a pair on the Nimbus label (the other being Cante Flamenco). Among Nimbus's laudable qualities at this time were first-class recordings, first-class (though not necessarily famous) artists, and careful attention to acoustics.Classical music is desperate to reach new and young audiences, yet the vital role of the music journalist as animateur is completely overlooked. The current generation of "another day another press release" music journalists would do well to reflect on Hesketh Pearson's tribute to a great music writer of the past, George Bernard Shaw.
Especially notable, however, was an almost obsessive preoccupation with performances that were whole and 'live' -- not sewn together, Frankenstein fashion, from the usable parts of corpses. In accordance with this objective, the present album presents Gypsy artists, not in the recording studio, but in a small private club in Morón de la Frontera -- with no chance of retakes! Here Nimbus were really taking to the air without a parachute, because the difficulties of producing a first-class performance to order are legendary. Artists unused to being recorded may get self-conscious and seize up; others may be jealous of each other, or too tired, or too drunk, or not drunk enough...
The qualities in him that specially appealed to youth were his irreverence for tradition and office, his indifference to vested interests and inflated reputations, his contempt for current morality, his championship of unpopular causes and persecuted people, his vitality and humour, and above all his inability to take solemn people seriously.Header montage was created from my own library. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
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