Thursday, March 19, 2015

Modern Mediocrity

"The brand new mediocrity is more cherished than the shop worn perfection." So wrote Baltasar Gracian in his 1653 A Truthtelling Manual and the Art of Worldly Wisdom.

The Spanish Jesuit anticipated the noise that today passes as popular music, while the perfection of classical music gets pushed aside. Money interests have dumbed down any pretensions to quality still lingering in the modern soul.

An antithetical observation appears in The Austrian Achievement 1700-1800 where  Ernst Wangermann wrote: "It was for the growing number of these amateur performers, with their great thirst for emotional stimulation, that C.P.E. Bach, Haydn and Mozart wrote some of their most inspired music.  For the challenge to discover the accents of the soul . . . was the one that appealed most strongly to their own personalities and to their artistic aspirations."

Would anyone dare to so describe the concoctors of today's musical offerings?

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