What’s Cool About Classical

Mary Sydnor makes the case for opening up to classical music:

Many people shy away from classical music the same way they do fine art or quality wine. It seems an art form that you need to know something about in advance to enjoy it. I admit I have a hard time understanding this sentiment. To me, classical music is a simple experience — just sit back, listen, and take in your emotional response. Where, when appreciating abstract painting, for example, it helps to know painters were attempting to better depict reality by trading in traditional images for abstract, there’s no similar historical detail anyone really needs to enjoy any form of music.

She urges us to think about the variety found in classical music the same way we obsess about different covers of pop songs:

With most of our famous composers no longer around, it’s up to each orchestra and conductor to decide exactly how a piece is played. The differences between a performance of the same work by the New York Philharmonic as compared to the London Symphony Orchestra can be tantamount to Nirvana’s cover of “The Man Who Sold the World” versus David Bowie’s original.

Above is Poulenc’s Double Piano Concerto, which has been Sydnor’s “favorite piece of music since childhood.”