Batons of gold and feet of clay
Classical music has always had its high earning high profile celebrities. But in the era of Karajan and Stokowski healthy admiration for their music making was mixed with an equally healthy scepticism about their excesses off the podium - see above. In the era of Dudamel and Rattle admiration for their music remains; but scepticism about their excesses - see below - has been replaced by remorselessly enforced approval. This unwillingness to accept that those with golden batons can also have feet of clay is driven by the widespread misapprehension that classical music needs a new messiah, and therefore any prospective saviour must be worshipped without question. Classical music is not dead. But it is under attack by the music Taliban who zealously enforce their own interpretation of the classical revelation. These Taliban use public platforms to deride anyone whose views deviate from the orthodoxy as a "tedious collection of cynics, snobs and the professionally underwhelmed".
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