Reaction Essay to:
"New World Symphony", "The Cool War" and "Oprah Winfrey to Back Purple"
By Russell Platt, Brian Morton and Edward Wyatt
Russell Platt's article, "New World Symphony", outlines some of the major obstacles he feels that classical music faces in today's society. Brian Morton's article, "The Cool War", sketches out a comparison between music, politics and propaganda. And Edward Wyatt's article, "Oprah Winfrey to Back Purple", comments on the Marxist propaganda used to get Alice Walker's book, "The Color Purple," turned into a staged musical. In all three of these articles there is a direct relationship between propagandizing the music and how this music becomes part of the way we relate to the world.
Russell Platt's article, New World Symphony, in connection with Joseph Horowitz's book, "Classical Music in America," carefully dissects the problems facing classical music linking its genesis to its creator and accomplishes this task by comparing and contrasting the standards of classical music in the late 1890's to today's standards.
In sharp contrast with today's classical music, classical music in the 1890's was held in higher esteem. In the 1890's, music was more important than the people behind the music, the musicians. As a result, foreign composers were not above migrating to the United States for the sake of music. For example, Czech composer Antonin Dvorak moved to the United States on December 15, 1893 to start the National Conservatory in
New York City. This was also the day Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World") debuted.
In the year 2000, classical music was perceived a bit differently than it was in the 1890's. In the musical society, major orchestras and their musicians either refused to share touring schedules with other orchestras or were more concerned with...