>Is Kozzin right telling us that the situation with classical music is great?
I have no idea, but the thesis is intriguing: that the classical music
scene is thriving, but the delivery systems are different. We don't get
classical music from concert halls, superstar players, and Major Labels,
but through small labels, Internet downloads, etc.
My question comes down to this: Who's making money? Is it artists? Is
it small labels? Who is paying for this Renaissance? I strongly doubt
that it's largely consumers.
I would also ask how deeply and how widely classical music has embedded
itself in the culture. I don't think it's either very deep or very
wide. When college-degreed (I won't say "college-educated") people can't
recognize a Beethoven symphony or a work by Bach, let alone Berlioz,
Borodin, Balakirev, Bergsma, or Brahms, it strikes me that whatever
hard-core market is out there is depressingly small. Of course, I don't
count things like interest in opera or ballet, since, in my experience
at least, a good deal of the audience is simply the NASCAR crowd with
pretentions. They're interested in pretty scenery, whether the voice
jocks can make the high C, or how many times the leap jocks can cross
their toesies before they land -- none of which, of course, has much to
do with music.
I would also say that there is no healthy interest in music without some
interest in current music. Otherwise, we're simply talking about a kind
of fetishism, rather than about a living art. Believe me, Tchaikovsky
will not be writing another symphony any time soon, so get over it and
As to the "no great tunes" complaint: I'm sorry, but I find great tunes
in music since World War II, but it's not necessarily hummable tunes.
On the other hand, Beethoven doesn't have many hummable tunes in his
symphonic works, either. For that matter, neither does Tchaikovsky.
Try singing the theme *after* the introduction to the first piano concerto.