I’ve been trying — and failing — to put together some thoughts about music criticism and classical music coverage and the ever-dwindling space for both in the mainstream media. It’s no secret, by now, that the Herald has cut its coverage to one review — 350 words — a week. It’s frustrating, it’s infuriating. It’s tragic, even. But it’s not really a surprise to me. Things change.
For a couple of months I’ve been biding my time, waiting, thinking, wondering what, if anything, I should do, and speaking to dismayed colleagues on the reading, writing and the performing side of things, but with no great insights, except for one.
Yes. One thing remains the same. Musicians still play, and audiences still come. All the concerts I’ve been to recently have had enthusiastic near-full houses, foyers buzzing with excitement. That excitement has been almost as nourishing, for me, as the music itself.
So I’ve decided that, rather than humming and ha-ing about the role of the critic or the need for informed opinions or blah-di-blah-di-blah I should make like a musician, and just do it, because I love it and because I have to. I’ll sling it up here on the blog and if anyone reads it, great.
In fact, there’ll be quite a bit up here in the next few weeks because I’m visiting my alma mater, Dartington Hall, for a week of the International Summer School of Music, and I’ve set myself a challenge. A review, or at the very least, a Pepys Diary of what’s been going on, every day, starting this Saturday.
Wish me luck.