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Enjoy the Music.com

June 2021


Classical Music Has Waned
Plus we wait for shows to re-start.
Editorial By Alan Sircom


Hi-Fi+ Issue June 2021


  In recent years, an appreciation for classical music has waned in the general public. The classical charts are dominated by 'Mellow Moods' compilations and movie soundtracks. While there's nothing wrong with a well-turned score and we all need to 'chillax' from time to time, the classical canon is far, far broader and richer than that. Regardless, year after year, the best-selling classical recordings often have sales that barely top a few thousand worldwide today, and in our own cloistered little branch of music enjoyment, classical music replay is at an all-time low.

With the recent postponing of Munich due to continuing problems with COVID-19, it looks doubtful that there will be a large-scale, international audio show in Europe this year. But, back when such audio shows were still a thing, it was fast becoming clear that with a few notable exceptions playing anything classical was best used to clear a room rather than showcase what equipment can do. Some of that comes down to changes in taste and an age-related shift away from classical music in general (if you go to a classical concert, you will often struggle to find anyone under 60 in the audience), but we would hate to see enthusiasm for classical music get sidelined as an 'OK Boomer' thing.


Hi-Fi+ Issue June 2021


A part of the problem, I believe, is a lack of education in classical music. No, that doesn't mean everyone who listens to music should be able to play an instrument or know what a key signature looks like, but a basic appreciation of music in general and classical music in particular is wholly beneficial. However, in a little over a generation, we've gone from "Wouldn't you just die without Mahler?" to "What's a Mahler?"

While we wait for audio shows to re-start, now is a perfect time to reevaluate classical music, not as some dry and dusty academic exercise, but as a vibrant part of the whole audio and musical experience. The breadth and scope of the classical canon allows for a lot of exploration; while not everyone is going to appreciate the cool, mathematical approach taken by Bach, that of the cerebral Beethoven or the out-and-out weirdness of someone like Messiaen, but somewhere within that classical canon might lie the next decade or more of musical enjoyment. Try it!

Our congratulations go out to Peter Bosman of Amersfoort in The Netherlands and David Gooding from Devon in the UK, both of whom win a set of Kuzma's excellent Damper Feet, worth 600 per set. Enjoy!



Alan Sircom, Editor Hi-Fi+





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