Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Why Young People Don't Listen to Classical Anymore

Short answer: because of humorless "Charles Winchester the Third" butt-punchers like this. Speaking on the oh, so annoying propensity toward scurrilous "expression" that so many young classical performers possess, Wendle K. Douchepants, Jr., writing in the Old Saggy Nutsack points out, rather down-the-nose:

Wandering from one television channel to the next the other day, I came across young people playing the piano. One man, bearded and a little hefty, rippled through a Beethoven sonata, sharing with the camera complicit smiles, exultant grimaces, gazes to the right and left, and a gentle swaying from side to side.

Arthur Rubinstein was known for keeping his head and torso still while playing.
The next, a young woman, sat down to Schumann, bending her back, lifting her head and gazing straight up. Maybe God was sitting in the rafters just above her, and she was using the opportunity to say hello. Both pianists were perfectly fluent. They kept time, played the right notes and sounded expressive when they were supposed to.

I had to turn away. I could listen, but I couldn’t watch. Two performers, four glazed eyes and four waving arms were too much for my stomach. And if someone with a lifelong love for the piano repertory has this kind of reaction, what about those coming to classical music from the outside? Think of the smart young people ready to believe, filled with curiosity and good thoughts, and imagine with what astonishment and amusement they must come away from such scenes.

It’s another reason classical music is not reaching more young people: not because of how it sounds, but because of how it looks. Even worse, lugubrious gymnastics like these advertise the feelings of performers, not of Beethoven or Schumann. Music is asked to stand in line and wait its turn.

No, my snooty clueless pantywaste, YOU are the reason young people aren't flocking to Classical like they used to. The "old guard" of Classical (and the New York Times itself) simply needs to die. Diatribes like these do nothing to catch the imagination of young people, in fact they do the opposite. Classical music has a rich history of rebellion and base expression and the current mantra of publicly subsidized, politically correct orchestras fails to acknowlege this history. Faced with the stale, moth-ball sensibility of the old "Stoic Granduer" set, creative young people give a collective yawn. They then open up an instance of Nuendo, send a chat message to their Polish counterpart and create complete collaborative scores of fantastic music in real-time, only to return to finish off the enemy in Halo 3 two hours later. And that drives Winston, Buffy and crew fucking crazy.

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