Naxos to the rescue

Naxos held a competition some time ago for ideas about saving classical music. Now they’re running excerpts from competition entries each day on their website. You can find them here.

Today’s (credited to “A.A.”) is maybe not so helpful:

By catering to the elite, classical music has become too conservative, too formal, too inaccessible to the masses. Only when the performers break off their exclusive relationship with the elite and play for the masses will live classical music achieve true popularity.

A mass audience, pretty obviously, isn’t the answer for any art. Though maybe “A.A.” doesn’t strictly mean that; maybe the idea is just to get classical music out from behind its tuxedo curtain. One goal, I’d think, would be to make classical music more interesting to the many educated, cultured people who don’t currently care for it. And that’s a tough challenge — to meet it, classical music needs to be more artistic than it is now: more surprising, more contemporary, less self-satisfied and predictable.

But it’s good to see Naxos doing this. They’re an enterprising company, in many, many ways.

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