Longtime rock critic Paul Morley made some waves recently, with a piece in The Guardian (UK) that suggests the pendulum has truly swung for classical music:
As much as we Listers are motivated to agree with Morley’s conclusions, the arguments could use further exploration: he obviously gets the power of “traditional” music, and recognizes the “barriers to entry” that serve as a real obstacle for much of our public. But as much as I agree with his premise and much of his reasoning, the individual process at work begs the question: Is this brave truth, or a lifelong rebel getting bored with his job? In this case, it’s probably more than a little of both.
In an interesting quirk of timing, an American writer explored the rampant sense of timidity about classical music (e.g. those same barriers to entry), as the Michigan Daily‘s Kathleen Davis describes in uncanny and colorful terms the challenges that are often so real to classical newbies. Has ART grown so big in our minds that it has become foreign and obscure? These are the attitudes that we pros must learn to understand if we’re to find a way to overcome them. Just like learning another language, we must comprende the mainstream mind.
We don’t seen any indication that either article is a reaction to the other. But the combo certainly has wheels turning here.