Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ambiguity, Political Correctness and Uniformity

“the world that we live in…makes it ethically more and more difficult to make music, because it is a world which gives us answers, even when there is no question.”
Once again, Daniel Barenboim hits the nail on the head in this week’s Reith Lecture, ‘The Magic of Music’. As ever, he’s not afraid of addressing a number of neglected, misunderstood and politically inconvenient subjects.

He wades deep into his own cerebral landscape, lauding ambiguity in music where it is
a doubtful quality” in life, expressing thoughts and ideas that are anathema to the modern world of precision, quantification and circumscription. Nevertheless, a fascination with ambiguity and incompleteness is central to the work of many artists and it is a perfect analogue of how art demands the active participation and involvement of its public. Barenboim says so much more about the much-debated subject of the future of classical music in two sentences than other, more prolific theorists are able to convey in acres of web space.

“classical music as we know it…will not survive unless we make a radical effort to change our attitude to it and unless we take it away from a specialised niche that it has become,”
But his view, unlike that of most others is not that we should re-align classical music to suit modern trends by making it “immediately accessible” - but through education. He stresses how it must be central to our lives:

“Not something ornamental, not only something enjoyable, not only something exciting, but something essential.”
I long to inhabit the Maestro’s world where the courage to have a point of view is rewarded rather than repressed, where ambiguity is prized instead of being crushed and where responsibilities are inseparable from rights.


Blogger ggwfung said...

Hi Guthry,

top post, I've set up a post, and a link to this review. It's called "Where do you Stand?". Love your work,


Sunday, April 23, 2006 1:02:00 am  

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