The best of times for classical music?

July 20, 2010
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Stories from elsewhere that could impact the A&E world:

--The New York Times reports that, for the first time, Amazon.com sold more e-books than traditional paper books. Is anyone else mourning?--

--The Stranger reports that, In Seattle, arts groups teamed together to buy time--not advertising, but programming segments--on a morning talk show.

"Unlike a TV commercial or an advertisement in a newspaper, New Day's bought-and-paid-for segments appear identical to any other segment on the show—but KING 5 and the 5th Avenue insist their financial arrangement is made clear by a brief disclaimer at the end of the program stating that some segments are sponsored."

Among my many questions: Who watches the end credits of a morning chat show?

--At the New York-based City Journal, Heather Mac Donald makes a strong case that we are living in the best time to love classical music.

She writes: "A twenty-first-century music lover plunged into the concert world of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries would find himself in an alien land, surrounded by strange customs and parochial tastes. Works that we now regard as formally perfect were dismembered: only a single movement of a work’s full three or four might ever be performed, with the remaining movements regarded as inessential. Musical forms, such as the sonata, that are central to contemporary performance practice were kept out of the concert hall, considered too difficult for the public to absorb. And the universal loathing directed by today’s audiences at the hapless recipient of a mid-performance cell-phone call would have struck eighteenth-century audiences as provincial, given the widespread use of concerts and opera as pleasant backdrops for lively conversation."

Not only does this make me feel a little more forgiving (but only a little) of the two adult couples behind me who wouldn't shut up during the entire Symphony on the Prairie program on Friday, it also made me want to read Hector Berlioz's Memoires. (I already put one of IMCPL's two copies on hold.)

Your thoughts on any of the above?

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  • Really?
    You actually attend "Symphony on the Prairie" and expect people not to talk around you? Really?
  • Really?
    Denise,
    To clarify: I expect some talking.
    But adults should realize that a conversation that lasts the entire concert and that can clearly be heard multiple blankets away is rude. Just because you are outdoors, doesn't excuse it.
    --Lou
  • If they won't cover you...
    Arts organizations don't have much choice but to seek out bought-and-paid-for time on news programs; most of those same programs don't ever see what an arts organization has to offer as "news."
  • The Internet Helps
    This is a fantastic time to love classical music. I saw this video of Jason Bateman talking about his obsession of the art form: http://www.itsasickness.com/lounge/jason-bateman-obsessed-classical-music. It's a great time to share one's love of classical music and hear anything your heart desires all on the internet.
  • concert programme
    Did the concert programme include Berlioz's music@ If so, what was it? I'd like to add it to the concert rubric of my Hector Berlioz website (www.hberlioz.com).
    Many thanks.
    Monir (in Scotland)

  • No talking...it's the symphony
    I may be crazy, but I think of the symphony - even a Symphony on the Prairie performance - as I would a theater performance or a movie. No talking! If you want to talk, go to a bar. I'm sure there's music in the background.
  • Berlioz
    Monir: No Berlioz on the program, but Andre Watts will be joining the ISO for the Berlioz' Symphonie fantastique in January.
    • Amazon correction
      "--The New York Times reports that, for the first time, Amazon.com sold more e-books than traditional paper books. Is anyone else mourning?--"
      I believe the report was more Kindle e-books than HARDBACK books. The assumption in the article was that paperback-book sales were still well above e-book sales.
    • Berlioz
      Thanks very much Lou.
    • Leading Rocket Piano eBook Course Review
      How I love symphony. I'm not that fond of classical music before but when I was "forced" to learn rocket piano
      through http://rocketpianoreview.net, I learned to appreciate it and now I'm super inlove with this kind of music.

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    1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

    2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

    3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

    4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

    5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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