The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Do we cry too much or too easily? How should we speak and write about music? Are non-specialist “critics” too sentimental about music? Washington Post critic Anne Midgette thinks so.

April 29, 2012
5 Comments

By Jacob Stockinger

I like to say that everyone is a critic.

And I think that is true — insofar as we all listen and make our minds about what performances and what artists and what music we like and we don’t like and why. We favor and we privilege what speaks to us, what touches us.

But is it possible that the whole way the general public, and especially the non-specialist media, treats classical music is hurting classical music, especially new music?

Famed critic for The Washington Post, Anne Midgette (below), who also used to write for The New York Times, think there is a problem with over-sentimentalizing classical music as an art form.

Midgette thinks we cry too much, and get too  emotional in our reactions rather than cultivate intellectual and rational reactions when we assess classical music.

Midgette is known as a dissenter, even among professional trained classical music critics, with a somewhat prickly personality.

But she is undeniably  smart, very intelligent and very well informed, with a strong family and personal background in classical music.

So read what she says and see whether you agree or disagree, and why.

Here is a link to her remarks:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/classical-beat/post/i-dare-you-not-to-cry-on-classical-music-and-critical-thinking/2012/03/02/gIQAcYVwmR_blog.html?wprss=classical-beat


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