Sunday, May 24, 2009

A classical music manifesto

On Sundays it is fun to ruminate on religious matters and today there is a goodie. Someone on Twitter twittered me this story from Inside Catholic. It is this kind of manifesto from Inside Catholic's music critic declaring that classical music is the greatest music.

This is a kick.

First of all I love that this Inside Catholic, which I had never heard of before, has a music critic. His name is Robert R. Reilly. It is about time someone in the Catholic Church paid some attention to music, I will say that.

Mr. Reilly, can you fix it so we do not have to listen to this?

Second of all the Catholic Church is great for this kind of thing. And I love it. It keeps life exciting and it is sure nicer than all that sensitivity stuff they fed us in high school.

I remember a few years ago when Cardinal Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict, came out with this statement that said, in effect, that the Catholic Church was the one true church and all other religions were in error. As I recall he just released that statement out of the blue. And the media picked it up and it went everywhere. Some of my Catholic friends were calling their non-Catholic friends to apologize. It was a total zoo.

I did not understand what everyone was so upset about. I mean, if another religion told me that because I was Catholic I was in error, as long as they were not about to saw my head off or anything, it would not bother me. They can say what they want, you know? Knock yourself out.

My husband is Jewish. He knows the Pope says all this stuff and it doesn't bother him.

But anyway. This music manifesto, from last August, is another great example of the Catholic Church running its mouth, which I always get a kick out of.

Classical music is the greatest music. This assertion is not based upon my preference or opinion; it is as much a fact as the statement that the noble is higher than the base, or the beautiful than the ugly.

That is how the story starts! With the first sentence in boldface, no less.

The essay ran with the picture I copied and put at the top of this post.

Naturally Mr. Reilly's declaration is followed by a lot of argument. I started to follow the comments but got bogged down. People complain that he is fostering elitism, that pop music is more elaborate than he thinks, etc. Maybe they have a case. But I don't care.

I love just the audacity of this essay. I did not know you were even allowed to say things like this.

Tell 'em!

1 comment:

  1. Just to be provocative about Ratzinger and the one true church, I can't help but think of Alma Mahler, who married two Jewish men, but was completely comfortable with so many poisonous ethnic and religious attitudes. It amuses me to know that the editors of both the German and English editions of her memoirs found that their biggest problem was soft pedaling the constant racist and anti- semitic remarks in the manuscript, much of which came from her diaries.