Two more classical critics have fallen by the wayside: Paul Horsley at the Kansas City Star and Lawrence Johnson at the Miami Herald. Johnson will continue to cover music at a blog called South Florida Classical Review. Neither paper is hiring a replacement. The Washington Post, on the other hand, has resisted the trend toward downgrading arts coverage and smartly hired Anne Midgette as a full-time replacement for Tim Page, who is now a visiting professor at USC. Still, the outlook is bleak for classical criticism in newspapers, or, indeed, for any kind of criticism in newspapers, or, indeed, for newspapers themselves. At MusicalAmerica.com, Justin Davidson declares that papers are essentially committing suicide, chasing after audiences that don't want them while spurning their loyal readers. He offers a radical proposal in response. Keep in mind, as Tim Mangan reminded us a while back, that editors are now using Internet hits to gauge the relative popularity of their writers, so support your local critic by clicking on his or her stories, writing comments, checking those little ratings boxes, e-mailing the stories around, and so on. Protest may be nearly as helpful as praise; it's the hits that count in this WalMartWelt.... Bob Shingleton has a nice post on the music of Joaquín Rodrigo, who made possible Sketches of Spain.... Andrew Patner hears the Concord in Risør.... Fact of the day, courtesy of an old Allan Kozinn piece: when Christopher Keene mounted Die Soldaten at New York City Opera in 1991, he spent $65,000.
Photo: Clifton Webb is sized up by Dana Andrews in Laura.