“What is the point of making beautiful things, or of cherishing the beauty of the past, when ugliness runs rampant?”, writes classical music critic Alex Ross in Wednesday’s (2/8) New Yorker. “Those who work in the realm of the arts have been asking themselves that question in recent weeks. The election of Donald Trump … has precipitated a sense of crisis in that world, not least because Trump seems inclined to let the arts rot. … Do you carry on as before …Or do you seize on a new mission? … In the field of classical music, practitioners habitually respond to man-made disasters by quoting a statement that Leonard Bernstein made … three days after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. … ‘This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.’ … In a recent post for the Log Journal … the scholar and critic Lucy Caplan writes … ‘I’m skeptical of the idea that a more perfect art can really bring into being a more perfect union.’ … Ultimately, artists of integrity will have no choice in how they respond  … The task of the audience is to absorb art’s conflicting messages and remain alert to unexpected revelations.”

Posted February 9, 2017