With friends like Gene Weingarten, who needs enemies? The condescending tone of Mr. Weingarten's article about Joshua Bell playing in a Washington (DC) subway station, has drawn notice elsewhere in the popular press and in the political blogosphere. I'm not sure concert music's worst enemy could have put together a more embarrassing and guaranteed-to-blow-up-in-everbody's-face cock-up if they had tried.
[Side note from the Pedagogy Department here at listen101: Mr. Bell oversells the Bach "Chaconne" here:
not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history. It's a spiritually powerful piece, emotionally powerful, structurally perfect.I can tell you from painful experience that that is a set-up for a tepid response, even though it's true. Tell them it's got some great moments, show them how to follow it, and make sure they know it's long.]
And speaking of pompous, Norman Lebrecht doesn't even have the whatever to name ALEX ROSS by name when attempting to refute ALEX ROSS' very fine post on the sale of recording of concert music. Mr. Lebrecht seems to equate the world of concert music with big recording companies, which equation doesn't add up, as ALEX ROSS demonstrates. Also, be sure to read ALEX ROSS' survey of the New York music scene here.
Finally, Helen Radice offers her always-more-than-two-farthings-worth:
Some people may be more fufilled by literature, galleries, the theatre, football, or even by what I believe is called 'popular music'. But there remain many people throughout the world passionately in love with 'classical music' (if so it must be called). Like any other major art form, it - recorded or otherwise - is not fucking dying. It is evolving, like anything else alive. It may be there is less of a market for more CDs of 'The Four Seasons', but there now exist 435 recordings of this piece, and even a seminal pop album like The Bends only comes out the once, give or take some re-mixes.
Read the whole enlightening thing here.