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<<  -- 4 --  Gerald Brennan    MISTAKEN CATASTROPHE


Libraries, colleges, and lovers of this repertory will buy this music and convert others to its charms, and these folks will make enough for their troubles to pay the low overhead of a small company and have some money left over to make it worth their while. Compelling new performers will be born from these ventures who will record and tour and be able to make a living this way. This will happen to the music of early composers, modern and (gasp!) living composers, and it will happen to the more intimate compositions of the best-known masters of the baroque, classical, and romantic eras. There is so much great music that we don't know about and that the majors would have never recorded, and I submit that the only way this new age will come about is by the dissolution of the hammerlock that the major labels have enjoyed for so many years, not only on classical recordings but on the perception of what 'classical music' really is through the slim repertory they have designated as such.

Next time, I'll take up the issue of the future of classical music performance. This is another example of an evolving scenario, not a disaster, that will change the landscape of the art dramatically and for the better.

And speaking of live music, I offer a final note for the aficionados: listen to more live music, if not for your edification then at least do it so you don't lose your reference to the real thing. The technology that has given us recordings of great music has on the other hand insidiously deadened our senses to the extent that most of us accept the illusion that we're listening to the magical vibrations of real instruments and voices when it is merely the seductive buzzings of a loudspeaker. No one in the art or photography world confuses a picture of a landscape with an actual landscape, and music lovers should always keep in mind that a recording of music is not to be confused with the music itself. There's nothing like real music, and it has a magic that no recording process shall ever capture.

Copyright © 4 April 2002 Gerald Brennan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA





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