I think it’s great when a community concert generates debate as spirited as this. But I’m always curious why there’s so much fear surrounding such debate -- people seem to think strong opinions are scary even before the whole thing degenerates into the predictable political rants and name-calling.
This particular debate boils down to a couple of perfectly valid opinions that don’t necessarily agree. One: a community orchestra has put it limited resources toward furthering a sociopolitical cause it believes in -- this is seen by some as laudable, by others as inappropriate. Two: when concerts are politicized, it can weaken their artistic impact, particularly when the music has been written to support a specific subject (as what one might call propaganda).
Amusingly, the liberal-elite and conservative tags are red herrings. The questions at issue would be just as relevant if a group had decided to do a concert to support the NRA. They are: how can a musical institution involve itself more deeply in the community in a meaningful way, with limited resources? How can music most effectively make a sociopolitical statement, or can it at all? (It helps, of course, for the music to be good.)
From where I’m sitting, even a little bitty argument like this warms my heart because it tells me that people are going to the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic and caring about one of their concerts enough to think about it afterwards, and therefore tells me that it makes sense for the Washington Post to write about them. With limited coverage available, it’s not always easy to tell what is best for the Post to review. And most of the feedback we get about our on-line reviews of smaller local performances comes in the form of complaints that the reviews aren’t running in the paper. It’s hard to tell, from the number of hits the on-line reviews get, that even the people who so desperately want these articles to appear in print care enough actually to click on them and read the whole thing. I prefer over-the-top rants to dead silence.
Posted by: snaketime1 | June 11, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: OperaLove | June 11, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snaketime1 | June 12, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: snaketime1 | June 12, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.