He pads in his socks across finely woven Persian carpets — “This one would be worth $100,000 if it were in better shape,” he remarks offhandedly. He passes the buttery soft Le Corbusier leather sofas arranged by his interior designer and the burbling fountain positioned just so by his feng shui consultant in a living room where soothing classical music is almost always on the stereo
“Soothing classical music.” People really do think classical music is soothing. Calm. That’s a large part of its meaning in our current culture, as I said in my last post. What I’ve just quoted — such a terrific piece of writing — is a demonstration of that.
Is this good for classical music? Well, on one hand, let’s take what we can get. Who cares why people like it, as long as they buy tickets to classical concerts, buy classical recordings, listen to classical music on the radio.
But on the other hand, if this is really the impression we’re making, then something’s gone wrong. At the very least, there’s a vast disconnect — an abyss — between the way we think about classical music, and the way our culture views it. All the turmoil and passion, all the towering grandeur, all the probing emotional truth, all these artistic things we like to talk about…none of them make much impression on the outside world?
How can we change this?
(Manuel’s piece happens to be about a confessed killer. But that doesn’t affect the passage I quoted.)