It’s time for another installment in my popular series of articles highlighting the balderdash used to describe audio equipment, especially cables. I wrote a short article this morning (The Audiophile Fallacy), and a link on the Wikipedia page for “audiophile” let me to a website called Audiophilia. I figured that this site would have some […]
I was reading a book of Leonard Bernstein’s letters recently. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK) This book contains letters both to and from Bernstein and a variety of people: friends, family, and other musicians, composers and conductors. In many occasions, one of the correspondents mentions having listened to a record or a live performance on the radio. […]
The pianist Dejan Lazic, like many artists and performers, is occasionally the subject of bad reviews. Also like other artists, he reads those reviews. And disagrees with them. And gripes over them, sometimes.
But because Lazic lives in Europe, where in May the European Union ruled that individuals have a “right to be forgotten” online, he decided to take the griping one step further: On Oct. 30, he sent The Washington Post a request to remove a 2010 review by Post classical music critic Anne Midgette that – he claims — has marred the first page of his Google results for years.
It’s the first request The Post has received under the E.U. ruling. It’s also a truly fascinating, troubling demonstration of how the ruling could work.
Never mind that such an attitude torpedoes the very foundation of arts criticism, a pursuit that even Lazic says makes us “better off as a society.” Never mind that it essentially invalidates the primary function of journalism, which is to sift through competing, individual storylines for the one that most closely mirrors a collective reality. Or that it undermines the greatest power of the Web, as a record and a clearinghouse for our vast intellectual output.
I’d wondered, since the EU passed that ruling, how long it would be before someone attempted to erase bad reviews of their works. As the article points out, the pianist in question is somewhat misguided, thinking that the decision, which applies only to search engines in Europe, may also, somehow, apply to newspapers (and web sites) in the US.
As a reviewer myself, I’d wondered if some performers or record labels would try and take advantage of this ruling to negate bad reviews of books or CDs; I hadn’t so much considered reviews of live performances, which are much more ephemeral, and don’t have much of an effect on people choosing whether or not to purchase a given item.
And now, this pianist is getting a lot of press about a bad review, which is probably not what he wanted. I wonder if this will have an effect on his ability to get concert bookings; if he’s seen as a troublemaker, plenty of people in the music business might just want to stay away from him.
Whether the rot set in with the arrival of iTunes, or the earlier availability of music through illegal file-sharing sites, isn’t clear, but it seems that a whole generation now has the belief that music is essentially a free commodity, rather than something for which one should pay.
Part of the problem is that the very forces held up to be the saviours of the music industry sometimes do themselves no favours, for example by treating music as nothing more than a promotional tool.
Andrew Everard makes some good points here, though I disagree that iTunes is to blame. Quiet the contrary; the iTunes Store is what got people to buy digital music. But the commodification of music, and its overabundance, have certainly made it seem that music has little or no value any more. But even more than that: most people just don’t care about music; it’s just wallpaper for them.
Music Review: Franz Schubert Complete Songs
40 CDs plus book containing song texts, 2005. List price GBP 180.
In 1987, Hyperion Records began what turned out to be a colossal project: the recording of all of Franz Schubert’s songs (or lieder), a total of 729 songs performed by over 60 soloists. Some of these songs are for male voice, others for female voice, and others for several singers together. (In comparison, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s landmark recording of all the lieder for solo male voice includes 463 songs on 21 CDs.) Originally released on 37 CDs, over a period of 18 years (the amount of time it took Schubert to compose all these songs, before his early death), this new set presents the songs in chronological order.
Recent reports show that iTunes Store music sales have dropped around 13%. Overall album sales dropped 8% in 2013. Fewer people are buying music, and more are streaming it. Yet most people using streaming services aren’t paying for their music; only 28 million people worldwide were paying a subscription fee for their music in 2013. […]
Classical music is proving to withstand the tests of time, so you might be wondering how an app can help get you more in touch with this rich, inspiring art form. Sure, you may already consider yourself a classical music buff, but there’s always more you can learn about how orchestras work, or how certain […]