Friday, June 01, 2007

Whither criticism?

Here, at a Daily Kos diary, is an extended piece on Britten's late opera Owen Wingrave. The topic is not my thing, but I do think that this article is of note because of both its content and location. The essay takes advantage of the blog format to include links, highlight quotes in a useful way, and, most importantly, to go into depth about the topic not possible in conventional music journalism. The location is important, too, not least because it suggests that a blog community like the Daily Kos can smoothly expand into an area like arts criticism at precisely a moment when professional journalism is generally withdrawing its commitment; moreover, an essay like this is the work of an amateur, in the best sense of the word, someone who might not have the qualifications or polished writing skills of a professional critic or musicologist, but who is nevertheless able to bring passion and patience unafforded the professional to his or her chosen topic.

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