NPR Music posted a story this week about an issue that's been ongoing for the past 20-plus years in classical music (and indeed, in all forms of music). That is, does being good-looking help album sales? Is it appropriate to exploit that aspect of a performer in the name of building a fan base? The responses from the musicians in the story are pretty typical, but I found the NPR users' public comments interesting.
Annie writes: I work in a music store, and the classical section is often difficult for non-listeners to browse. Regardless of how the record sounds, most covers look non-descript. People will pick up whatever catches their eye, and these covers do. Artists have to distinguish themselves to both their fans and the non-listening public, and I’m glad these women can do it though self-expression. Go get 'em ladies!
HW writes: Look, the music is a hundred years old or more, played and recorded by countless others. Yet, it endures just like and old story that one never tires of hearing. At least I don't. So what if they put on a new dust jacket. Is that so bad? Easy on the eyes, lovely on the ears. They are both emotive - as it should be.
Erin writes: In a lot of these photos [at the NPR site], the women are wearing nothing less (or more) than women throughout the centuries have worn in concert settings. And I know plenty of men who complain about not being able to wear less in a concert setting--those tuxes are hot!
What are your thoughts? And in the meantime, I'll go back to gazing at Anne-Sophie Mutter whilst listening to her recordings.