The death of classical music is perhaps its oldest continuing tradition.
Stage fright, like epilepsy, is a divine ailment, a sacred madness... It is a grace that is sufficient in the old Jesuit sense - that is, insufficient by itself but a necessary condition for success.
Beethoven in c minor has come to symbolize his artistic character...where he seems to be most impatient of any compromise.
Even Stravinsky does not evoke the same public affection as Verdi.
The belief may be too often mistaken, but the illusion of coming into direct contact with the past is intoxicating and persuasive, and can result in an interpretation that carries conviction. Sometimes confidence is all that's needed.
A love of classical music is only partially a natural response to hearing the works performed, it also must come about by a decision to listen carefully, to pay close attention, a decision inevitably motivated by the cultural and social prestige of the art.
When recordings replaced concerts as the dominant mode of hearing music, our conception of the nature of performance and of music itself was altered.
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