It’s a strange thing – Classic FM is an immensely popular radio station and has its own popular magazine. Radio 3 seems to do well, and there are excellent classical music programmes on television, not frequently but fairly regularly, on BBC2 and BBC 4 in particular.
But have you tried buying classical music in the shops lately?
I went to a smallish town centre branch of WH Smith. They had no music CDs or DVDs at all, just films. I tried a big regional shopping centre branch of WH Smith. They had music, but no classical to speak of; just a few Three Tenors and Katherine Jenkins. They are fine, but not what I wanted. I wanted piano music by a particular artist.
I went to HMV. Well, they must have it. Aren’t HMV the centre of the universe as far as music recordings are concerned? Not any more; once again the only classical recordings I could find were the one or two current popular ones; Katherine Jenkins again.
So certainly around where I live, it is impossible to buy classical music in the shops.
Back home, HMV’s website was able to supply exactly what I wanted, but now I have to wait for them to be shipped.
When the present generations of elderly and middle aged die off, it looks as though classical music will have a no doubt keen and devoted, but very small audience. Popular music has taken over the world.