May I draw attention to an excellent, impassioned article by Sarah Spilsbury of the group “Friends of Radio 3”?
There is little I can add to what Ms Spilsbury says, both in the article itself, and in her splendid combative responses to various comments below the line. And after all, given that the decline in cultural standards in recent decades has been a sort of running theme in this blog, it should, I think, be fairly clear where my own sympathies lie.
However, I would like to touch on one point raised by Ms Spilbury’s article that I don’t think has been adequately dealt with: the management at the BBC appear somewhat concerned because the output of Radio 3 is regarded as “intimidating”. But surely, art should be intimidating! It should challenge, it should stretch, it should scare the shit out of you. Unless, of course, art is regarded – as I think it increasingly is these days – primarily as a branch of the entertainment industry, a means merely of whiling away a few idle hours in an inoffensive manner.
Personally, I’d love to see Radio 3 become more intimidating, not less. Although, given the current climate in which popularity appears to be the sole measure of all human activity, I can’t say I’m holding my breath.