You could easily fault him for those qualities, but in interviews Sting has made it clear that he is aware of his shortcomings. And he has discussed Dowland’s songs, and other classical works, with a passion that shows that his heart is in the right place: he loves this music and wants people to hear it.

I’m really not sure what I think about this. Part of me is frustrated with the whole “heart is in the right place” thing. Maybe because I used to hear that a lot in church when someone would play an instrument very poorly. We were no to say anything negative because, after all, “his heart is in the right place.”

Is that enough?

At the same time, any time a pop star is bringing classical music to the general public’s attention, I’m sort of excited. Of course it can backfire; when Baz Luhrmann brought La Boheme to the masses, a ton of opera experts got huffy and looked at the whole thing with disdain.

I don’t want to become that person.

But I still think things should be done well. Pop stars who cross over need to understand the art form, and classical stars who go the other direction need to understand whatever genre they are attempting to jump into. Having good intentions isn’t enough. Or is it?

That being said, the article from which I pulled the quote above is actually about something else: Sting’s involvement in a production “Twin Sprits”, a production that involves not only Sting, but his wife, actress Trudie Styler. But there are some more rather significant names as well that are involved in this: actor David Strathairn, pianists Jeremy Denk and Natasha Paremski, violinist Joshua Bell, cellist Nina Kotova, baritone Nathan Gunn and soprano Camille Zamora.

I’d have loved to have been in the audience for this. I hope it’s been recorded!

2 Comments

  1. I’ve heard Sting’s Dowland album, and, as a lover of Dowland’s music, am appalled by the performances.

    But I hope that, if the guts of the music comes through to those who are not familiar with that flavor that they will recognize the substance of more authentic performances and be drawn into the ‘Truth’ whatever the heck that is. Art is such a subjective thing…

  2. I’ve only heard snippets. I wasn’t impressed, but oh well. Some people loved it.