An insider disses the classical Grammys
I've linked before to the blog of critic and composer Greg Sandow. And as long as he keeps writing his blog I'm going to keep linking to it. Sandow, who for years has been working on a book about the future of classical music, is unusually clear-headed in his assessment of the current state of classical, and refreshingly blunt when criticizing the classical insiders who remain willfully ignorant of the sobering facts available to all. He takes 'em all on: musicians, performing organizations, publicists -- even classical radio stations and their supporters (I'm among the commenters on this post).
His latest subject: The Grammys. Or more precisely, the classical Grammys, why they (to his mind) don't matter, and what that says about classical's place in the broader world of music. As you'll read, Sandow doesn't rant, rave or spew. He analyzes and assesses, calmly and coolly, and lets you know exactly why he reaches his conclusion, however much or little you may like it. Would that all pundits would follow suit.
My brief follow-up: I plead guilty to not having heard most of the classical Grammy nominees. I'm constantly listening to music, but time doesn't permit spending hours with lengthy symphonies or operas that have no chance of ever being played on WFCR (I'll get to why not some other time). Nor does my personal interest go in the direction of many of these recordings. And frankly, I remain largely unimpressed by awards handed out by one's peers in fields meant to serve or please others, including the arts. Yes, even public radio! Too often, the awards go to those who uphold the prevailing ideology of the insiders, rather than reward those who best serve their public.
(Photo: Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato accepting her Grammy for her CD "DivaDivo". Now her, I care about! Mozart's "Deh vieni, non tardar" from Le nozze di Figaro off this CD comes up this afternoon on WFCR.)