The pied piper's magic flute freebies tune isn't only for the grimy ears of the uncultured masses spending money on discount major label hits at Wal-Mart. But believe you me, after constantly hearing the neo-tongue-in-cheek defiance of some of the ads on WCLV, I'm further convinced that the stereotype of classical being the playground of decrepit oldsters & junior mad king Ludwigs is a badge of honor to select yokels, thus unintentionally comic stuff like
One such effort is already underway. Prior to last Friday's matinee concert, the orchestra sent buses to pick up listeners at Beachwood Place and Crocker Park in Westlake.Not the the largest hamburger helper, Beachwood & Westlake being mostly composed of upper crust crackerdom. Despite personal disappointment in Blossom instead of Severance initially getting the full 18-and-under-free treatment -- a steady diet of saccharine Sousa pops & firework-saturated 1812 Overtures, Mahler must be rolling over in his grave; alright, I inveigle slightly, but stacks of Marshalls or no, the sound on the lawn still sucks -- we'll see if the following theme
"We want to make sure there's no excuse about money, getting here or the welcome you get once you're here," Binnie said. "We're going to turn our plan on its head and say, 'You know what? Come check us out and then tell us you don't like it.'"bears long-term fruit. Might want to vary the repertoire too; less Mozart (sorry, Mitsuko), more Martinů & maybe slip a bit o' dissonance in the brew. I hear all the maltshop kids think that Stravinsky's just dreamy, daddy-o. & how about cutting down on the all the goddamn cross-country & international voyaging. New York doesn't have an orchestra or three?
Classical music, like poetry, is always & forever going to be a postmodern niche. All the nephilim striding the earth have gone into hiding or have been slain, only their great works remain, seldom heard outside those lucky to be touched by the immanence of their spirit. Is there a solution? Je ne sais pas. Is this a/the solution? The majestic chords of the allegretto from Beethoven's seventh ring & my blood simmers every time. My kids only grimace.
Economic concerns aside, a wider array of entertainment options exist now than in the heyday of a Karajan or a Masur, let alone past centuries, which surely adds to the amount of patrons disguised as empty seats. The mutability of taste is an easy corollary, perhaps too easy. The institutionalized "speed" of modern life, in which we're purposely drained to the point that our downtime is spent being spent, nudges us away from ever taking a crack at the unfamiliar. Fucking yikes, back to economics, always back to that monster, it seems.
If the orchestra is to be "worthy of extraordinary philanthropy," Hanson said, "we have to demonstrate that the orchestra is prepared to change."What a depressing comment on where we permit our priorities to be placed, praying to Cthulhu for a private sector bailout, a cuckoo for cocoa puffs followup whenever we're lucky to receive one. Don't misunderstand, I'm not suggesting we divert all of the Pentagon's budget, on the books or no, to the arts. They can keep a tank or two for parades. I'm a nice guy.
Anyway, classical lacking the ubiquitous nature of rock & pop in the cultural landscape, is it, at the end of the evening, merely a case -- at least for their category of "young adults," for they already have inexpensive programs aimed at cultivating whipper snappers -- of exposure? Which came first, the classical music listener, or the poor kid forced into lessons with an old & cranky, wrinkly fierce Ukrainian babushka who brooked no slack, thereby perpetuating the cycle because said poor kid after having quit in disgust had no other ear candy but scratchy Zeppelin & Sabbath LPs, which hints at yet another possible generalization, briefly inferred earlier: is a dearth of youthful paying customers a matter of a subtle distancing over the decades of emotional identification away from the sensual, often intellectual lines of classical towards the shake n' bake immediacy, hip-twisting sexuality of rock and/or roll?
Classical isn't the province solely of the rich, the old, the white. I'd wager Monopoly money that a sizable number of us devotees on the tubes are proof of that simpleton assumption. Unfortunately, the orchestra's revenues are probably going to continue losing commas like every other sector of the economy outside of corporate & military concerns -- hmm, there's a way to get some government scratch. Stick Welser-Möst in a machine gun turret, stuff the timpani full of grenades, plastique in every Stradivarius & tell the feds they're anti-terrorist measures. Maybe I was too harsh on the 1812 Overture.
After all, who loves explosions more than kids & policymakers?