Ed Driscoll

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF

THE DECLINE AND FALL OF CLASSICAL MUSIC: I can’t say I’m a dyed-in-the-wool classical music fan–there are numerous pieces that I like, and I admire immensely its harmonic development over the last three or four hundred years. But I’m definitely a “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing” kind of guy. Which is why jazz is much more my forte, as its best stuff combines the harmonic and melodic complexity of classical, with much more interesting (not to mention swinging) rhythms. (Miles Davis’ best material from the late 1950s and early 60s comes immediately to mind, especially the albums he recorded with Gil Evans arranging.)

But it’s a bit painful, if not at all surprising, to read pieces such as James Bowman’s article on NPR’s “greatest hits” approach to programming its classical music, and Libertarian Samizdata’s post about how classical advertising had become much more umm…babelicious in the last few years.

On the other hand, that Hilary Hahn that Samizdata refers to is a real cutie. Too bad Stravinsky, Philip Glass, and Mahler never bothered with image consultants–imagine where their careers would be today if they had!