The BBC Promenade season closed last weekend after another
summer of delights, enhanced as ever by the nightly broadcast
and regular TV screening of the concerts.
Whereas we find some artistic facilities eventually restricted for
economy, the Proms continue to be heard and seen in full glory.
The audience in London's Royal Albert Hall setting appears just as
large and enthusiastic as ever, and one assumes that nothing short
of a major disaster could make any appreciable dent in this
unstoppable phenomenon. The season just finished has witnessed
the same buzz and excitement as ever.
The extraordinary power of mass listening to serious music survives in a
world stiff with restrictions of every type. Music, whilst not in crisis,
suffers some shocks and unexpected failures. It is the way of the
world, and all artistic enterprise has its share. But triumph is the
pure gold that gleams through the setbacks.
For that very reason we find stimulation from success derived from artistic
artistic prowess. It is something distinct from the glorification that
saturates success in a mass media enterprise. Music of quality still
provides a deep-seated satisfaction to those who crave for something
beyond the routine gestures of commercialism. Art starts with creative
Once the gold has caught our eye, we should have started the process
that enables us to pursue a journey of wondrous delight. The only regret
is the unheeding senses of those still trudging without sense of the goal.
May they emerge from the wilderness and find it.
Copyright © 18 September 2003 Basil Ramsey,
Eastwood, Essex, UK