‘The classical recording industry can’t possibly be in trouble,’ writes Don Rosenberg in the Cleveland Plain Dealer. ‘Compact discs keep piling up, like sonic mountains.’
What kind of logic is that? You might as well say city newspapers can’t be in trouble because there are piles of them every day at the vendors. Or that pizza deliveries must be the hottest thing on earth because so many fliers are shoved through your letterbox.
It must surely be obvious, even in the misty Cleveland heights, that the mainstream classical industry has shrunk in a decade from 700 releases to fewer than 100 and that most of the inflow that clutters reviewers’ desks consists of non-commercial vanity products, paid for by the orchestra, the artists or their anonymous best friends.
The facts of decline are laid out in my book, which has not yet been reviewed in Cleveland, and there can be no excuse for such wilful myopia.
Nor is the blindness total, since Rosenberg continues: ‘Most of (the discs) stay put in their plastic wrappers.’ Of course they do. A disc that may sell 100 copies cannot claim review space in a newspaper that sells 344,704 daily.
The Dealer got a new editor this week, the well-respected Susan Goldberg. She will doubtless wish to take a fresh view of its narrow cultural perspectives.