Barrington-Coupe – ‘it’s a fair cop‘.
And two things from Alex. (Due to technical problems they’re not appearing on site at the moment, so I’m reproducing in full.) This one made me think:
Brendan Kroener has analyzed the 2006 classical surge for Slate, attributing the phenomenon mostly to the crossover titans Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, and Il Divo. It’s a smart piece, but I’m not entirely convinced. Il Divo released their monster-selling debut in 2005, together with a Christmas record at the end of the year. So they more or less held steady from 2005 to 2006, and can’t have contributed too dramatically to the classical uptick. It’s good to point out that neither Groban nor Bocelli released albums in 2005, but both singers put out records in November 2004, which should have continued selling well into the next year. If classical sales are so closely tied to the crossover category, why did they fall sharply from 2004 to 2005, when the latter year saw the introduction of an enormous new crossover act? I don’t deny that Bocelli and Groban added heavily to classical sales last year, but I believe that they account for only part of the rise. What we need are overall figures for the “straight” classical and classical-crossover divisions. It’s easy to mock the genre by noting that, say, a New York Philharmonic iTunes release is selling only a few thousand copies a month. But there are thousands upon thousands of classical releases each year; it’s the aggregate that counts.
And this one made me laugh (and made me think of Diana Ross – two good things):
Justin Timberlake, Los Angeles CA: “If I wrote you a symphony, just to say how much you mean to me, what would you do?”
A: I would be extremely flattered, Justin! But do we really need another exercise in Classical-Romantic nostalgia? I would recommend a continuous one-movement form derived from a single motivic kernel.