Saturday, December 07, 2019

Winter daydream or winter nightmare?


A reader has added the sardonic comment below to my post 'Classical music's biggest problem is that no one cares'. Yesterday, when the comment was added, was not a good day. December in England can be very gloomy; particularly when rabid pro and anti-Brexiteers together lead us down the path of mutually assured destruction, and when classical’s social media influencers trumpet their usual toxic mix of salacious exposé and self-congratulation.

But then, by chance, I caught BBC Radio 3’s broadcast of Ben Gernon conducting the BBC Philharmonic in Tchaikovsky's Symphony No 1: Winter Daydreams. Suddenly I was reminded of classical music’s magical ability to transport us to a better place. So I don’t agree with the main thrust of what the reader is saying. But I do believe there is a grain of truth in the comment, particularly in the observation about ossification and rigidity. And I find it very disturbing that no one else in classical music cares about that grain of truth.
I played in community orchestras for much of my childhood and adult life, and finally quit due to the stultifying snobbery of the participants. The obsessive and ridiculous emphasis on robotic 'accuracy' that denied any effort at actual self-expression. Go into Classical Music, you will never, NEVER, be anyone but a member in a mediocre cover band. It is a creative Dead End.
The 'genre' totally deserves what it is getting.
Good riddance to all of it and everyone of it.
It's my truly honest opinion. Classical has made its own fate, and is just failing due to its own ossification and rigidity.
I don't miss it, and rarely even listen to anything Classical anymore. I would rather step on a rather large nail than suffer through a concert.
New Overgrown Path posts are available via RSS/email by entering your email address in the right-hand sidebar. Any copyrighted material is included for critical analysis, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s).

2 comments:

www.stephenpbrown.com said...

Oh, some of us really do care! I have shifted my own expectations and now dedicate my life to helping performers and audiences discover what's beyond the facade of the industry! (It's going well, too). I am so on a mission that 95% of my peers just don't get...

Pliable said...

Thanks for your comment Stephen and I do appreciate that there are some - albeit a few - people who do care. My last sentence really should have read "And I find it very disturbing that so few people in classical music care about that grain of truth.". Blame my original starkly black and white and somewhat misleading wording on the distasteful requirement to be punchy to be read these days.