Thursday 29 January 1998
Classical music is fearfully unfashionable, and don't even mention opera. All the philistines, sorry, arts funders like nothing better than "crossover". Why? because it's all about "accessibility". Dreadful "elitist" arts organisations must turn their backs on specialisation (and by inference their traditional audiences who apparently don't deserve anything much) and open up to new audiences who are supposedly put off by depth and excellence. Aim instead for the middlebrow, the easily accessed. The alternative to such hogwash is intelligent programming, as in tonight's concert which includes Copland's (dare I say it?) popular Suite from Appalachian Spring and both of Ravel's piano concertos. (Funders should note that the G major concerto featured in My Night With Reg.) The evening ends with An American in Paris. Now, Gershwin is a man who makes the word "crossover" respectable and his jazz-based orchestral piece inspired the famous movie musical. And you can't get more populist than Hollywood.
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