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Credit the Bourgeoisie

В статусном журнале The New Yorker — статья об эволюции формы концерта классической музыки. Особенно любопытны наблюдения над изменением процентного соотношения в программе концерта ныне живущих и почивших композиторов:

For years, he [Weber] has been gathering data on late-eighteenth- and nineteenth-century performances, and he summarizes his findings in graphs showing how works of dead composers came to dominate concerts in Paris, London, Leipzig, and Vienna. In 1782, in Leipzig, the percentage was as low as eleven. By 1830, it was around fifty, going as high as seventy-four in Vienna. By the eighteen-sixties and seventies, the figure ranged from sixty-nine to ninety-four per cent (in Paris). Matters progressed to the point where a Viennese critic complained that “the public has got to stay in touch with the music of its time . . . for otherwise people will gradually come to mistrust music claimed to be the best,” and organizers of a Paris series observed that some of their subscribers “get upset when they see the name of a single contemporary composer on the programs.” These quotations come from 1843 and 1864. Anyone who believes that twentieth-century composers, with their harsh chords and rhythms, betrayed some sacred contract with the public should spend a few moments absorbing Weber’s data. In fact, the composers were betrayed first.