Hey dude, Mozart never got downloads!
At last that upstart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has been put in his place. Following something that was billed as A late night Ibiza prom, became the most downloaded of all thirty-five proms so far this season, “disc-jockey” Pete Tong was heard to exclaim “Take that, Mozart” after conducting a rendition of Cafe Del Mar, the 1993 Ibiza classic by Energy 52.
One aficionado of this work of inspired genius cooed:
“Tong kicked off proceedings with Fatboy Slim’s Right Here, Right Now, a dance classic with a whole lot of violins. Other tracks included ATB’s Till I Come, The Shapeshifters’ Lola’s Theme, and a host of other ‘90s and ’00s house music classics. If you’re an Ibiza regular or you remember the days when your legs worked properly and you could down a pint in seconds rather than hours, then this particular Prom will provide goosebumps, neck tingles, and perhaps even a tear or two.”
I confess that, after having listened to only a few bars, I shed many tears. In fact, I couldn’t stop weeping.
“Our arm muscles were burning… but we didn’t care,” said violinist Kerenza Peacock in an interview for the BBC’s Newsbeat. “That was during the epic rendition of Insomnia by Faithless, one of the most iconic dance tracks to ever grace Ibiza’s shores.”
We must be glad of such progress in our aesthetical assessments. In Mozart’s day we had to rely on hearsay and the mere opinions of fogeys such as Joseph Haydn who told Mozart’s father, “Before God and as an honest man, I say your son is the greatest living composer.”
But heck, what did Haydn know? His was just one opinion – and the opinion of a notorious elitist fuddy-duddy at that.
At last – led by the BBC Proms’ brave DJs and other innovators – we are emerging from centuries of stuffy pseudo-musical appraisal into a truly scientific, and genuinely democratic, method by which to judge the quality of music. I speak, of course, of what will surely come to be referred to as the Democratic Phenomenon of the Oiks’ Download (the D-POD).
The beauty of this is that, when it comes to forming a judgement, no musical understanding whatever is required. The D-POD ingeniously by-passes the issue of quality and provides us with a method which is purely quantitative and thus truly objective.
And, as we have belatedly recognised, this is the only way to arrive at valid aesthetic judgements.
In future, don’t ask of any piece of music, “How good is it?” Just count the downloads.
And, if further proof of the superiority of the new method is required, just think of this: Mozart didn’t get any downloads, he never went clubbing in Ibiza and was never known to down a pint in seconds.
Thanks then to the BBC for providing us with what will become our one true Centralised Register of All Performances (CRAP)