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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Musical Interlude

[For politics, please scroll down]

One of Arvo Pärt's most famous pieces:


[about the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (1935-present)]

[about Tabula Rasa - "Ludus," which offers this information about the piece's reception and application:
In an article in The New Yorker in December 2002, music critic Alex Ross discussed the use of Tabula Rasa in palliative care for AIDS and cancer patients facing the end of their disease. Caretakers working with the AIDS patients would often be asked to play the "angel music," which was the dying patients’ name for the second movement of Tabula Rasa, "Silentium"]

Tabula Rasa - "Silentium":

42 comments:

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    1. Arthur Pettigrew Jr. said

      You make despair seem beautiful. That's quite an art.

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    1. FT,
      A wonderful paean to Edgar Allan Poe! He happens to be one of my favorite authors.

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    2. About "To Marie Louise":


      To Marie Louise.

      Not long ago, the writer of these lines,

      In the mad pride of intellectuality,

      Maintained the “Power of Words” — denied that ever

      A thought arose within the human brain

      Beyond the utterance of the human tongue:

      And now, as if in mockery of that boast,

      Two words — two foreign, soft dissyllables —

      Two gentle sounds made only to be murmured

      By angles dreaming in the moon-lit “dew

      That hands like chains of pearl on Hermon hill”

      Have stirred from out the abysses of his heart

      Unthought-like thoughts — scarcely the shades of thought —

      Bewildering fantasies — far richer visions

      Than even the seraph harper, Israfel,

      Who “had the sweetest voice of all God’s creatures,”

      Would hope to utter. Ah, Marie Louise!

      In deep humility I own that now

      All pride — all thought of power — all hope of fame —

      All wish for Heaven — is merged forevermore

      Beneath the palpitating tide of passion

      Heaped o’er my soul by thee. Its spells are broken —

      The pen falls powerless from my shivering hand — [page 2:]

      With that dear name as text I cannot write —

      I cannot speak — I cannot even think —

      Alas! I cannot feel; for ‘tis not feeling —

      This standing motionless upon the golden

      Threshold of the wide-open gate of Dreams,

      Gazing, entranced, adown the gorgeous vista,

      And thrilling as I see upon the right —

      Upon the left — and all the way along,

      Amid the clouds of glory, far away

      To where the prospect terminates — thee only.



      ∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

      Notes:

      “Marie Louise” was Mrs. Marie Louise Shew, Poe’s friend and Virginia’s nurse. The original manuscript of this poem, sent by Mrs. Shew to J. H. Ingram in 1875, has long been lost, but a tracing of the poem was apparently made by Ingram, and retained. That tracing is now item 42 in the Ingram Collection at the University of Virginia.


      [source]

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    1. It is worth noting that the word ludus has several meanings:

      In ancient Roman culture, the Latin word ludus (plural ludi) has several meanings within the semantic field of "play, game, sport, training" (see also ludic).[1]

      An elementary or primary school or the school of the “litterator" attended by boys and girls up to the age of 11 was a ludus. Ludi were to be found throughout the city, and were run by a ludi magister (schoolmaster) who was often an educated slave or freedman. School started around six o'clock each morning and finished just after midday. Students were taught math, reading, writing, poetry, geometry and sometimes rhetoric.

      The word ludus also referred to a training school for gladiators; see Gladiator: Schools and training. Examples include the Ludus Magnus and Ludus Dacicus.

      Ludus was also the word for a board game, examples of which include ludus latrunculorum and ludus duodecim scriptorum, or a game played with knucklebones (astragali).

      Latin poetry often explores the concept of ludus as playfulness, both in the writing of poetry as a kind of play and as a field for erotic role-playing.[2] "Poetic play (ludus, ludere, iocum, etc.)," Michèle Lowrie observes, "denotes two related things: stylistic elegance of the Alexandrian variety and erotic poetry."[3]

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  16. Beautiful selection AOW. Thank you.. I felt no need to "concentrate." :)

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    1. Arthur Pettigrew, Jr. said


      What makes you think it's beautiful?

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    2. @ Arthur Pettigrew, Jr
      To answer 'both' your comments.

      "You make despair seem beautiful. That's quite an art."

      No, the music is beautiful. To express despair in musical terms, or as paint on canvas for that matter, is an art. That it is expressed makes it a work of talent and love and that makes it beautiful if for no other reason.

      Have you ever heard of Vincent Van Gogh?

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    4. FT,
      I can't begin to understand why anyone would find the second movement a boon to the termnally ill. I can't hear anything serene, comforting, wam, tender-hearted or encouraging in this work.

      Please see this 2002 article.

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    5. I'm not sure that the article is of much help, however.

      Perhaps one has to be a death's door to relate to the full extent to Pärt's music?

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  17. Can prepared piano be "beautiful"?

    Does Part's minimalism find the basic elements of "beauty" ? Could be.

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    1. Duck,
      Does Part's minimalism find the basic elements of "beauty" ?

      Apparently, "Silentium" has that effect on certain terminal patients. See the body of the blog post.

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  18. I don't believe that beauty can be defined by limitation of a single aspect of the whole. That must be certainly true of music.

    Can any particular instrument be beautiful in and of itself? Maybe in an aesthetic sense.

    The music that comes from the instrument is, another matter, separate from the instrument.

    Alas, at this point in my life I find myself delving into the theoretical aspects of music. My hearing deterioration has cut into my "enjoyment" of that I haven't heard before. I do have some quantifiable evidence about Pärt's music.

    I added some of Arvo Pärt's "Cantus in memoriam Benjamin Britten" into a Blog (it was one of the Blog owners favorites). Some loved it, others hated. I added a silencing button but people complained because if they reloaded the page it started again. I removed it and others complained about the removal.

    I have found, over the years, any given number of people will hate or love a given piece of music. In this case; beauty is in the 'ear' of the beholder. As for me, if I haven't heard it before (my brain adds the missing "texture" when I have) it can become an unwanted distraction very quickly. That is why I seldom comment on Musical Interludes.

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    1. Warren,
      I have found, over the years, any given number of people will hate or love a given piece of music.

      The typical reaction to minimalist pieces, IMO, because such pieces are mood-evoking.

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    3. But at least there are comments to this particular "Musical Interlude."

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    5. Beautiful is not perhaps the best descriptor for this musical piece A more accurate descriptor might be that of the "splendid sublime."

      from Wiki: Of the Distinct Objects of the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime

      Kant states that feelings of enjoyment are subjective. In this book, he describes his observations. His interest is not in coarse, thoughtless feelings or in the other extreme, the finest feelings of intellectual discovery. Instead, he writes about the finer feelings, which are intermediate. These require some sensitivity, intellectual excellence, talent, or virtue.

      There are two kinds of finer feeling: the feeling of the sublime and the feeling of the beautiful. Kant gives examples of these pleasant feelings. Some of his examples of feelings of the beautiful are the sight of flower beds, grazing flocks, and daylight. Feelings of the sublime are the result of seeing mountain peaks, raging storms, and night.

      In this section, Kant gives many particular examples of feelings of the beautiful and the sublime. Feelings of the beautiful "occasion a pleasant sensation but one that is joyous and smiling." On the other hand, feelings of the sublime "arouse enjoyment but with horror."

      Kant subdivided the sublime into three kinds. The feeling of the terrifying sublime is sometimes accompanied with a certain dread or melancholy. The feeling of the noble sublime is quiet wonder. Feelings of the splendid sublime are pervaded with beauty.


      Kant, "Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime"

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    6. of course, we probably could go with squanchy, too! ;)

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  19. HIT AIN'T PURTY. HIT AUN'T EXCITIN'. GIT AIN'TFRIGHTENING', HIT AIN'T NUTTIIN.' IT'S BAAAAAAAAAAAAWRING. DAT EMPEROR IS NEKKID. HE AIN'T WEARIN' NO DAM CLOAZ AT ALL. WAIST A TYME.

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