Bye-Bye, Best Classical Album: Grammy Categories Cut?

Changes are in the works. Should we care?

"The American classical community doesn't have any other major honors that hold the same level of prestige or visibility as the Grammys, even if the classical winners were nothing more than a footnote that zipped by just before a commercial break during the televised ceremony."

It is obviously a done deal, but does it really matter? Certainly Classical (even modern classical, soundtracks, and video game music is a small segment of the music world. There are ardent admires who breathe the stuff. Without the (even minor exposure) of the Grammy's will it hasten the demise of culture?

... to be sure this comes on the heels of a radio format change leaving me with a single option rather than two. (and yes, I do feel for music lovers who have no broadcast station in their area.)

6 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Best Answer

    On one hand I've never had any love for the Grammys because often the winners seem to have won as a result of either nepotism or ignorance on the part of the voters. Many great potential nominees never even make it to the ballot. Furthermore who ever really put any stock into a classical Grammy. Let's be Honest: who ever purchased a classical album because it won a Grammy?

    On the other hand even if was just a short 30-second blip on the awards show it was still exposing the idea of classical music to a wide audience of people who otherwise probably wouldn't realize. I'm for anything that gives classical music a wider exposure. Regarding the issue of "the demise of culture" i think this is only an the latest proof that the recording industry today only cares about money. 50 years ago many labels pulled money from their big pop money makers to produce classical albums that barely broke even because they liked the idea of the prestige, but today no record label does that because the name of the record label on album no longer carries much weight.

  • petr b
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    I'm in agreement with Nemesis. 'Trinkets, etc.'

    I think the grammys are an inside self-congratulatory bit of business, and do not influence the general public to or away from classical music. All the time they were awarded, only those already well in to consumption of classical music took note of them.

    Once upon a time, in brick and mortarland stores, while thumbing through LP's (I date myself) and later CD's ~ none of which you could audition in-store ~ a Grammy or Grand Prix du Disques banner might have helped tip my decision on which of several recorded performances to gamble my money upon.

    The one regrettable bit of this news is, perhaps, the industry not caring to name its more / most excellent endeavors. The vagaries of what has received grammys points out its non-importance, a standard bit of classical repertoire, already in print in 25 different recordings, now the latest and greatest performance and engineering, blah blah big whup, No thrill for me.)

    Now if you were talking of retiring the awarding of the New York Critics Circle awards, Pulitzers for Music (riddled with vagaries, anyone, including the composer, may nominate anyone for a Pulitzer), or the MacArthur Grants, I would be more than worried.

    Perhaps your attachment to following the Grammys is one of those 'guy-geek' dogmatic kind of affairs (I, a guy and oftentimes geek, am not immune ~ I just asked the most dogmatic of Q's on the categorization and 'labeling' of percussion sound ;-)

    My particular bias and enthusiasm has me a bit disappointed there will be no 'best new music' in the classical category. Though, that is not the way fans learn about new music, I would care more about that category loss than another award for another recording of the Verdi Requiem or a Mozart Symphony, to name a few typical 'new releases.'.

    Again, I don't think one classical grammy, ever, has worked magic on a body who had otherwise never purchased a classical recording. Ergo, commerce and culture aren't affected.

    Best regards.

  • 9 years ago

    While I largely agree with our esteemed colleagues Nemesis and petr b, I do, however, think it's a shame when ANYTHING happens that might remove (or at least obscure) classical music from the public gaze. Yes, these things are 'trinkets', but they do help to raise awareness of a genre that some perceive as dying (when will we get our next question along those lines, I wonder?).

    Of course, what constitutes 'classical' music in these things is sometimes dubious with the 'crossover brigade' being foisted upon us by the cynical (or ignorant?) marketeers as if it were real classical music (Kathryn Jenkins, Andre *blech* Rieu and their ilk), so perhaps it's largely irrelevant anyway whether there's a 'Best Classical Album'.

    While I regret this pruning, I doubt it heralds the end of civilisation as we know it.

  • 9 years ago

    While I am sympathetic to the notion that anything subtracted from contributing to the promotion of classical music is a bad thing, I have to say.... have you seen the most recent Grammy shows and what they are promoting in general? Have you taken a look at some of the cr@p they are giving awards for. If anything, THAT is what is detracting from any prestige such awards might have.

    The Grammys have become a joke.

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  • 3 years ago

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  • 9 years ago

    You're truly baffling me, boss, as I can easily see how it will possibly 'hasten the demise of' classical *commerce* but 'hasten the [*]demise of culture[*]'..??

    Trinkets, beads and 'gongs' have yet to hasten anything lasting, one way or the other, that I'm aware of. Might you care to edit, supplement, maybe............? :-)

    Warmly, as ever,

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