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That is a very good question.It was Nietzsche’s
belief that modern man has lost a true understanding of what suffering and the
tragic are. In the modern world man has
tried to remove suffering completely. In the past man accepted suffering as
part of life and in effect embraced it as part of life.
In ancient Greece they celebrated the tragic
through their plays (through song, dance and drama). The artist (the true artist) Nietzsche
believed must accept suffering, understand it and overcome it through his art.
In other words only through accepting and acknowledging suffering (physical, spiritual
or mental) cans an artist create great art.
The country were I live is materially affluent, but culturally barren. It is my contention that in the not to distance future classical music\opera will become very much a private concern. You will be able to play classical music and opera privately as much as you like in your home or small groups, on your cd player or ipod, but your opportunity to appreciate it publicly will diminish as time progresses. The schools, universities and public institutions were I live no longer promote it, the mass media do not promote or encourage I ( accept to ridicule it). When Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau died the newspapers did even mention his death (I found out in the Gramophone website) but they did mention the death of some obscure rap singer in the America.
At a Christmas function last year some colleagues ( in their late 30’s and 40’s) were shocked that I did not know some pop performer called “Pink” ( from America I later learned) and actually became quite upset and angry when I said I didn’t like her music, but the same people had never heard of Mozart, ( I am not making it up).
Pierre Bourdieu in his book "Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste” showed that public institutions are critical to forming the taste of a society. This is achieved both through education and funding of private institutions, which shape taste though the value system of the controlling elites. If “the State”, mass media and the elites sees no value in Opera or classical music it will fade from the public view. As it stands classical music has no place in the Libertarian globalised world view paradigm
In a many ways history is repeating itself. The Renaissance was (as many already know) a re-discovery of many of the ancient Greek and Roman writers who were lost during the period know (though not entirely accurately) as the “Dark Ages” It is possible over the next 100 years that classical music \ operamay disappear completely from the public sphere. However as one forum member stated (tjh212 I think!) that as long as the appreciation of music remains with him it can never truely perish. This is very true. In fact people and people like tjh212 will become the custodians and holders of this knowledge that can be passed on to his children’s, children. It may then be re-discovered and re-appear in the public sphere . Is this an extremely pessimistic view and a bit melodramatic?, probably, but the point I want to make is that if art is truly great is will always be recognized for what it is and return in the future.
Thanks a lot, Amfortas, for your long and eloquent post. You are perhaps the only one who holds a pessimistic view which coincides with my perception. However, I admire your eager way to find a "way out" for a view to optimism in a future that is very distant and way out of our grasp.
In any case, my subject is about the short-term and medium-term future (what more or less is within our immediate interest and can affect our lives, at least to some extent).
Please contact me via Sarah(at)hardwickstudios(dot)com;a well known educational publisher would like to request your permission to use an adapted version of your blog post in a new text book.
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