30 November 2004

Blue-State Critic Tony T. has a Red-State Heart

Golden Age Tarnishing

Our dear friend Tony T. declares his joy at the current state of classical recording. His rosy- picture-in-a-rose-garden article (a.k.a. the entire list of new recordings published in the year 2004) unabashedly champions the Bush economic doctrine. Tony says with a Cheneyan grin "Perhaps for once the free market is working the way it is supposed to." OK, wait, hold the mayo! The red states got what they wanted on November 3rd; must we also give in to the Bocelli-WalMart coalition and give them the go-ahead to drag the arts down even further? Listen, if Fleming sang two generations ago (and I'm talking typical current reigning diva treatment here), she would have gotten two Traviata studio recordings at this point in her career, as well as a Pirata, a Susannah (no one would buy it), two Rosenkavaliers, maybe even a Norma (with Zajick) and a Jenufa, and so on, instead of the free-market shockers "The Beautiful Voice" and "By Request".

In matters of art, music, and literature, we should all say F*CK THE FREE MARKET. The free market knows nothing. The free market likes SpongeBob SquarePants and Kenny G.. In the streets of New York, the free market shops at Barnes & Noble and devours Posman, Shakespeare & Co., Rizzoli, and Spring Street Books. Over at PBS, the free market puts on Fleming and Terfel crooning broadway tunes, while Ariadne and Hans Sachs continue to wait in the vault (and now newcomer Salome just took a number). The free market drives a Hummer and drills in wildlife refuges. Heck, the free market is even killing baseball.

Elsewhere in the article, in discussing the demise of once-distinguished classical catalogs, Tony says:

Could Peter Gelb, the president of Sony Classical, be jumping ship by accepting the post of general manager of the Metropolitan Opera starting in 2006?
That's free market at work for you.