Segunda moral: Leon Botstein dixit (1)

«Before 1989, North America reflected the severest stage of loss of interest in classical musical traditions characteristic of capitalist economies and their attendant cultures; communist Europe demonstrated an intermediary state of affairs. The mid-twentieeth-century European pattern of government support of musical culture derived from a modified continuation of pre-First World War monarchial and aristocratic traditions. As early as the 1870s, when the Third Republic completed and opened their Palais Garnier, designed initially to glorify Napoleon III's monarchy, public subsidy of artistic institutions and new work was regarded, even in incipient democracies, as in the national interest. The continuation of state and taxpayer support for orchestras, conservatories, opera companies, and their venues long remained an integral (although weakening) part of the modern politics of European national identity. This still holds true for much of Scandinavia, particularly Finland. But among many members of the European Community, pressure to reduce the scale of the welfare state has brought pressure on the levels of subsidy traditionally made available to the infrastructure of the classical concert tradition. The allure, however illusory, of private philanthropy on the American model has become strong. Ironically, when conservatives achieved political power after 1980 (Thatcher, Reagan, and both presidents Bush, for example), they privileged their advocacy of a free-market ideology over any desire of culture, even through the tax code, and thereby heightened the economic vulnerability of the high-art traditions. The attraction to a market economic logic, however, is a symptom of the increasingly marginal cultural and social significance of inherited musical traditions within Europe. American-style shifts in culture and taste are evident, even in the growing popularity of Broadway-style musical theatre. By the end of the twentieth century, only a limited number of key locations - particularly Germany, France and Austria - are able to justify public subsidy of musical culture as a necessary economic strategy within national tourist industry. For Austria, its chief value today is as an object of tourism focused exclusively on a distant past, a musical museum akin to castles and historic sites.

Since 1989, then, it has become more starkly apparent that high-art music has always stood apart from the logic of the market, depending for its vitality not on voluntary mass popularity but on systems of private non-for-profit investment and public subsidy – for whatever dubious political purposes. The demise in post-communist Eastern Europe and Russia of classical high-art traditions in terms of state support and audience interests has been amazingly rapid: the inundation of inexpensive commercial popular music and a wide range of television and video programmes, as well as the Internet, coincided with access to most forms of modern public entertainment. This, together with the sharp reductions in state subsidy, has eroded public participation in concert music in Eastern Europe and Russia. Music publishing has all but ceased. The once enviable music-educational infrastructure has weakened. State monopoly of the airwaves has given way to Western-style commercial competition. The demands on impoverish governments for public subvention of social services has made sustaining the levels of state support for music enjoyed under communist unthinkable. The classical music tradition is now faced with the same challenges evident in Western Europe and North America.»