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Classical Notes

Classical Music & Politics

Posted at 3:43 PM on September 2, 2008 by Gillian Martin

I was thinking about an RNC-appropriate Classical Notes entry and not coming up with much, so I searched for "classical music" and "politics" and found this commentary inspired by Valery Gergiev's concert a couple of weeks ago in the bombed out ruins of Tskhinvali, Georgia. Gergiev is from Ossetia.

I found it an interesting examination of how classical music and politics intersect, when they do:

Politicians use classical music rather like they use white-tie galas and red carpets. It adds dignity and intensifies an occasion, making it more serious and profound. But the music heard at political events is all too often ignored, despite its often huge symbolic importance.

Meanwhile, here is an account of the concert itself, from London's The Telegraph. (Gergiev is the principal conductor of the London Symphony.) Here is Gergiev's rebuttal (in the Letters section; scroll down to find one headlined "Conduct abroad").