I've come to believe classical music and opera are the greatest gifts ever given to humanity and masterpieces that command a singular devotion . . .
So writes Chris Timmons in an op-ed piece in the Tallahassee (FL) Democrat. The piece is an impassioned invitation to Mr. Timmons' fellows laypersons to investigate concert music, in hopes that their lives will be enriched as his has been.
Kyle Gann has an intriguing post up about the Hudson River school of painting (coincidentally the representative painting that speaks most clearly to me). He wonders why it took American musicians longer to develop distinctly American means of expression than it did painters. It's a complicated question and I certainly don't know the answer. In fact, there is certainly no single answer, but I suspect that part of it is that a vital musical culture requires significantly more infrastructure (performers being the main part of that infrastructure) than does a visual culture.