Kindred Spirits (from Canada!)

[Or: Blogging while cooking.]

I found this lament about the demise of the classical CBC station ("Radio 2") in the Toronto Globe & Mail. It also laments the state of the arts, and the label "classical". Truly a kindred spirit.

I am almost too depressed about the panned "overhaul" of CBC's Radio 2 to even write about it. What's the point? We've all seen the writing on the wall for some time now, and resistence is futile: The CBC no longer feels there is any point to devoting an entire radio station to the more musically and intellectually complex style of music colloquially, though entirely inappropriately, known as "classical" (more on that tendentious terminology in a moment), because, according to its mysterious studies, no one is interested in that any more.

Go read the rest, it's great.



Empiricus said...

"explicitly light"

That's how I'd characterize the executive director's ethics.

That's also how I'd characterize McDonald's ethics. See:


Gustav said...

Since when is a piece entitled "Chamber Symphony" supposed to be funny? For the love of god, this is the reason that program notes suck ass. If no one knew the genesis of the material for that third movement, then I wouldn't have to read bullshit commentary, like "it's not funny". Memo from John Adams, "Fuck you".

Here's a news flash, music is never funny, nor is it happy or sad or constipated, it doesn't cry at Meg Ryan movies nor laugh at Will Ferrell movies (but that's actually because they aren't funny--at all)... and how the hell would sound have human emotions any way? Stop judging music by expected emotional outcome. Fuck you.

BTW, how did the Schumann Symphony make you feel? Ejaculatory?

Gustav said...

Meant to post that under the last one...crap!

What I meant to say here:

Can we please, as a giant collective, stop apologizing for calling it classical music? It's the generic term, get over it. We all know what you mean. I'm a little tired of having taken 15 words out of every paragraph to explain to like-minded individuals that I know the various ways in which that is a misnomer.

Aaron said...

I think this is her strongest argument, really:

I assume, for example, that the point of having a government-funded radio station is not to garner the largest possible audience; if that were the goal, and that goal were attained, such a station would be commercially viable and no longer in need of government support. I also assume that art and intellectual inquiry can sometimes be challenging and demanding of intense concentration, and that they are naturally not always going to attract lucrative audiences, and that this does not make them any less valuable, which is why governments in enlightened countries support them and provide access to them.

The whole point of government involvement, in any sphere, is that there are valuable things that should be done that private enterprise is unable or unwilling to provide. In those cases, the government is right to step in to do those things. It may not always be particularly good at doing them, and there are certainly things that government gets involved with that maybe don't need to be done at all. But if the Canadian government is going to get involved in running a radio network (or two), it's because that radio network is delivering something valuable that the privately-operated networks aren't providing.

Not too many radio stations play the music of, say, any of the Composers of the Day. This is not so much a problem for Feist or Diana Krall.

I can understand an argument that classical music isn't worth preserving; I don't agree with it, but I can understand it. I don't understand an argument that Canadians are insufficiently exposed to Joni Mitchell, and to address that lack, the Canadian government needs to cut back on the Schoenberg.