Little Kitten – Stephen Fry On “This House Believes That Classical Music Is Irrelevant To Today’s Youth”

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.

  • Tricia bertram

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing ths.

  • Winterwind

    Fry’s speech was excellent, as expected. I want to experience more classical music now. I don’t know much about it but I’ve enjoyed and been moved by the few pieces I’ve heard.

    I think it’s important to have a human connection when trying to get people interested in subjects that are considered inaccessible or esoteric, whether it’s science, poetry, art or whatever. In the case of classical art, you have several centuries of tradition making things deliberately inaccessible to the layperson, because this used to be a marker of class (and in many cases probably still is).

  • Cuttlefish

    Damn, I love that man.

  • FossilFishy

    In the eighties I was a uni student studying classical guitar performance by day and was hanging out in punk clubs at night. My life was steeped in that dichotomy of the perceived differences between “high” and “low” art. While my situation was not unique it was at least unusual, and I think it gives me a perspective on music that few have. Given that, I have to say that Mr. Fry gets this almost completely right and does so with an eloquence that I don’t even dream of achieving.

    Tonight I’ll put on The Grates album “Gravity Won’t Get You Hight” and dance around my kitchen with my four year old. (Sorry Stephen, I did say “almost”. Sometimes dance is a social activity that has nothing to do with sex but a great deal to do with joy.) And as I lay down to sleep I’ll plug in my ipod and listen to Glen Gould work his way through Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate vast, wondrous beauty that is the diversity of human achievement and experience.

    • georgemontgomery

      Awesome, FossilFishy!

      • FossilFishy

        Thank you. And for your kind words please accept this complementary “the”. I found it laying around here looking rather bedraggled and lonely. Perhaps you could find it a good home somewhere above. ;)

  • smrnda

    Growing up my father pretty much made sure that I heard classical music every single day.

    Odd thing is that, for the most part I find it all sterile and polished, so symmetric and regular that it feels like a machine could have written it. At the same time, I like Modest Mussorgsky and Erik Satie; their work has something alive about it that most of the greats seem to lack. These composers were messy and disorganized, something that makes their work stand out.

    However, I think of my own preferences as simply an opinion, and I can’t separate my distaste for most classical music from the fact that it’s all been overused so much that a lot of it is pop culture kitsch. Think of how many times Carl Orff’s O Fortuna from Carmina Burana has been used to make something sound dramatic…