That annual orgy of self-congratulation by the remnants of the American record industry, the Grammy awards, has little credibility. But the award last night for best contemporary classical composition to John Luther Adams' Become Ocean was a good call. John Luther Adams - seen above - is a composer with something important to say who says it well, and says it without taking the easy and fashionable option of trading integrity for audience numbers. Awarding a Grammy to Become Ocean gives the lie to the ridiculous assertion by director of BBC Radio Helen Boaden that the "creation of snackable access to classical content is the key to audience engagement". You can't be more audience engaged than a Grammy winner. Become Ocean plays for 42 minutes 13 seconds in one unbroken movement, and the award winning CD from Cantaloupe Music lacks the sub-track index numbers needed to turn it into snackable content.
No review samples used in this post. Photo via WQXR. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.