Sunday, November 22, 2009


I am grateful for the many thoughtful comments (mostly private) on the last post. It's true that, at the moment, the organ is anything but "in." Chamber music and symphonies by Central European, German-speaking composers, written between 1775 and 1925 -- that is in. But look at how the Early Music movement was a mere curiosity in the 1950s. In the 1960s it was derided, but it was becoming prevalent enough to scare people into that derision. By the 1970s it was starting to be trendy; now people were really becoming scared. By the 1980s, Boston had more Early Music happening than the other kind. Today, most all classical musicians of any camp perform Baroque music with some sort of stylistic understanding. In 1950 it wouldn't have seemed possible.

Why can't there be a musical renaissance if there's already been a culinary one? Today you can go to a regular supermarket and find 15 kinds of whole bean coffee, 15 kinds of pasta, 15 kinds of cheese, 15 kinds of olive oil, 15 kinds of wheat bread ... As recently as 20 years ago, you had to go to expensive specialty stores for anything like that. And TV didn't have entire cooking networks -- there were Julia Child and the Frugal Gourmet, and only a couple of other smaller names. The public has become culinarily more sophisticated, more aware. It can also happen for music, and especially for the organ. In fact, I think it will.