Another of my colleagues has sprung into action proclaiming the imminent death of classical music. This comes from the Berlin journal Der Kreis:
Art today has become a luxury, a privilege of the wealthy, and the artist leads a parasitic existence. The moment the state, city, and private supporter perceive a vital need for their money elsewhere, theater and the symphony orchestra are condemned to death. Theoretically this moment has long since arrived. Concerts are poorly attended and budget deficits grow from year to year. The general level of musical performance is visibly declining. Only the flattest, least challenging music enjoys success. Savings must be made at the expense of the performance of significant works. Meanwhile, composers continue to work undisturbed. Scores become increasingly complex, demands ascend into the immeasurable, musicians fall into despair.
The author is H. H. Stuckenschmidt, and it would be insensitive to accuse him of being unduly alarmist because he died in 1988. The above was written in 1926, during one of the richest periods in musical history. Another in an occasional series of selections from the Death of Classical Music Archive, historical division.