29. August 2007 · Comments Off · Categories: Links, Other People's Words

One musical topic I didn’t tackle along the way is the popular “Everything Was Better Once” story, which I have read elsewhere in many variations, almost all of them written in a tone of elegiac glee. Where Have All the Tenors Gone? Why Is There No New Beethoven? Record Companies Are Dying! Orchestras Are Dying! Audiences for Classical Music Are Graying! They’re Shrinking! They’re Dying, Too!

Some of this is true: Many audience members are graying, some of them are shrinking a bit and all of them eventually will die. The same could be said of Fantasy Baseball fans and hedge-fund billionaires, but we don’t obsessively fret over their demise. I’ve never been sure why the appetite for apocalyptic stories about classical music seems to be unquenchable. Maybe it’s that in populist America, we take pleasure in the thought that democratic culture can expunge an ancient tradition associated with the aristocratic.

-Justin Davidson (RTWT)

I certainly enjoyed what Mr. Davidson has to say. You might too.

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