A couple of signs that classical music is gaining ground
Those of us devoted to classical music can use any positive trend we can find. It's rough out there, battling for attention in a world of pathetic Idol-ization, but every now and then it looks like Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and the rest of gang may be gaining some ground. These two things have me a bit of a boost:
Eminent music critic Alex Ross recently spotted a trend in late-night TV viewing -- the declining and aging audiences -- and drew a deliciously upbeat comparison with classical music. At the very least, Alex has given us a way to hold our heads just a teeny bit higher the next time we confront stereotypical attitudes about how the arts are doomed.
And the other day, my partner Robert noticed a new ad for an Audi that he thought I might like (we're rather partial to Audis, I should say up front). It's a great little commercial, and not just because it sells a cool car. I've decided it sends a fabulous subliminal message about how classical music can transport you far above whatever din and destructiveness may surround you, that you can really go farther, and in better style, with classical.
Oh, all right, maybe it doesn't do any such thing, but I still like the fact that a good guy -- or car -- is associated with a classical tune, which I initially didn't recognize -- happily, a reader soon informed me that it's from Handel's glorious "Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne." Anyway, here's the ad: