New Steve Reich 9/11 CD Cover Called “Despicable, Shoddy”

Should photographer Masatomo Kuriya's image of the 9/11 attacks be used as art?(Photo: Nonesuch)
Should photographer Masatomo Kuriya's image of the 9/11 attacks be used as art?(Photo: Nonesuch)

You might have seen recently Limelight Magazine’s list of the last decade’s silliest classical CD covers.

In a post on the Wall Street Journal‘s Speakeasy blog, Christopher Shea writes that the cover of a new classical music CD may already top the list of classical CD covers in poorest taste.

The cover photograph of the Kronos Quartet’s recording (to be released by Nonesuch on Sept. 6, 2011) of Steve Reich’s WTC 9/11, a work that commemorates the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, shows a smoking twin tower and the second terrorist plane flying toward the second tower. The photo was taken by fine art photographer Masatomo Kuriya.

According to Shea, some comments on the Nonesuch Web site decry the CD cover:

On the one hand, the photograph is, as Nonesuch writes, “indelible.” But commenters below that post describe it as “pitifully ham-fisted,” “despicably exploitative,” “shoddy,” and even “the first truly despicable classical album cover that I have ever seen.”

What do you think? Is the use of Kuriya’s photograph as the cover of the world-premiere recording of Reich’s WTC 9/11 in poor taste?

Read more: Does a New Classical Music Album Exploit 9/11? (WSJ)

Comments
  • Bette D

    How many times have we seen photos of WWI, WWII, Pearl Harbor put on covers to promote things.  No one flinches when it’s on a cover of a book.  How is this any different? 
    WE WILL NEVER FORGET!!  right?  So no matter how we are reminded is OK with me. 

  • Kjobaker

    I think Bette D makes a credible point. 

  • Cash

    This is your article? Reprinting the comment of some schlub in his underwear complaining about the world? Jenn… you might consider putting YOURSELF out there, instead of just reguritating links from everywhere else.