Adam Kirsch, writing in today’s New York Sun:
The critic of the serious arts — poetry, painting, music — is addressing readers who are not just indifferent to new work, but feel justified in their indifference. The critic’s first job, then, even before he evaluates individual works, is to make the reader feel uneasy about his ignorance—to convince him that the art in question is vital and serious, deserving of complex attention. A reader who has always heard that classical music is dead must first be convinced that it is alive.
No critic at work today does this better than Alex Ross, who writes about music for the New Yorker.
Can’t say much for the Sun’s politics, but its arts coverage is spot on.