How serious is classical music?

Classical music reeks of class while at the same time classic rock rears its populist head. Politicians construct their cultural image around popular music – rubbing shoulders with Bono and filling their imaginary desert islands with the noises, sounds and sweet airs of gangsta rap and heavy metal.

The ironies are extraordinary, and not at all sweet. We are living in an age transfixed by the dystopian vision of a broken society, whose anxious leaders, to the Left and the Right, immerse themselves (or pretend to – and which is worse?) in a pop culture, much of which cele­brates violence and drug-taking, and which is historically and aesthetically grounded in the tastes and predilections of the teenager. What is more, the whiff of rebellion on offer is a synthetic one, manufactured by gargantuan media companies for which this art (some of which undoubtedly deserves this label) is a commodity.

From an article by Cambridge-educated English tenor, Ian Bostridge.  To read the entire article, click here.

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