Mozart's requiem

Dalibor
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Mozart's requiem

Post by Dalibor » Fri Nov 10, 2006 3:42 am

This Requiem is in a way one of my favourite pieces of music, being hypnoticaly beautifull at times, but...

...don't you think it comes down to parts 1 (introitus), 6 (sequentia, around the middle), 12 and 14 (reprise of introitus)? The rest sounds theatric and common, like Mozart was short on real ideas. Bombast and pathos replace real beauty and elegance, and some parts also sound like 2nd rate Bach (Kyrie).
Isn't it a pitty that the composition as a whole doens't do justice to those several sublime, angelic parts?

jbuck919
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Post by jbuck919 » Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:09 am

Guy, people have been working on this for centuries, and nobody will ever figure it out. Want to know my solution, which I don't recommend to others at all because there is no need to get hot and bothered as I do? I don't listen to it anymore at all. I just can't deal with the ambiguities. A work of music cannot lack integrity and be enjoyable listening. But that's just me. Keep listening yourself, by all means.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:45 am

I moved on to Schubert Masses ages ago. They're lovely.

As regards Mozart's Requiem, don't musicologists reckon uncle tom cobbly and all had a hand in finishing it off? Ignoring all that, I still like it but not too often. One gets a bit weary of all this Mozart. Newcomers love it of course, but it does pall after a while, IMO.

Brahms German Requiem is the Requiem for me, not literally, of course, at least not for a while I hope!


Saphire

Teresa B
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Post by Teresa B » Fri Nov 10, 2006 7:39 am

I have had the privilege to sing in choruses that performed Mozart's Requiem (three times at least), Brahms's Requiem, and Verdi's Requiem over the years. The one that tires me the least? Mozart's.

It's a matter of personal preference, but even though I love all three of these masterworks, I find Brahms at times heavy and Verdi over-long.

Mozart's Requiem may be inconsistent and the end repeats the Kyrie, of course because Sussmayr (AKA uncle tom cobbly) completed it.

It is getting a little tiresome to me that some CMG posters seem to think certain works will appeal to musical newbies, but once one becomes "sophisticated" one moves on to--er, the pieces that poster likes best.

Mozart's Requiem is one of the greatest works of the choral literature. Some might view its history and even its perceived flaws as quite fascinating.

Teresa (still a musical innocent after all these years 8) )
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

paulb
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Post by paulb » Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:36 am

Teresa B wrote:I have had the privilege to sing in choruses that performed Mozart's Requiem (three times at least), Brahms's Requiem, and Verdi's Requiem over the years. The one that tires me the least? Mozart's.

It's a matter of personal preference, but even though I love all three of these masterworks, I find Brahms at times heavy and Verdi over-long.



Mozart's Requiem is one of the greatest works of the choral literature. )
Teresa, thank you for bringing things into better perspective , sheeding some light on these "shady" opinions in the thread so far.

I also love the Requiem, but will admit the final section complete by Sussmyar , shows its less Mozart and more the hand of much less inspiration.

To have sung the Requiem just once is quite an event in ones life, and yet 3 times is thrice wonderful. So opinions on the work comming from one who actually performed in the work, makes for the most believable and accurate.

Thanks
Paul

I have more recordings of Mzoart's Requiem than any other single score in my cd library. I believe its 6. :D
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:47 am

Well Teresa, I was the third poster on the trot who made the same point in a slightly different way. I'm sorry if you find such comments tiresome but that's the way it is with many classical fans: their tastes change over time. What's wrong with saying that? It might help some of these newbies to realise that there's more to classical music than Mozart. I mentioned Schubert and Brahms offerings, as mere examples. What is interesting is to see how far different people have progressed along the learning curve, what directions it took, and what they found most interesting along the way. It would be boring indeed if the only comment that occurred on a thread like this if everybody said how wonderful (or whatever) they consider Mozart's Requiem. Do you not agree?



Saphire

paulb
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Post by paulb » Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:45 am

For those newbiew who stop at Mozart's Requiem, are missing out on dozens of other highly spiritual sacred works in his masses and other sacred works. If you add it all up it amounts to like 15 cds worth of music of stunning beauty.

Since Brahms and Verdi's requiems were brought up, I feel no sense of the sacred with either, both are good for a concert hall, but please keep them out the cathedreal's.

EDIT: Just went to arkiv, to make sure I was not mistaken that Beethoven actually wrote a mass.
He did. :roll:
Thank god he only wrote 1. :wink:
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

Sergeant Rock
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Post by Sergeant Rock » Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:59 am

paulb wrote: EDIT: Just went to arkiv, to make sure I was not mistaken that Beethoven actually wrote a mass.
He did. :roll:
Thank god he only wrote 1. :wink:
Sorry about this Paul, but I have to inform you Beethoven wrote two: a Mass in C, op.86 and the famous Mass in D op.123 "Missa Solemnis"

Sarge
"My unpretending love's the B flat major by the old Budapest done"---John Berryman, Beethoven Triumphant

moldyoldie
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Post by moldyoldie » Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:12 am

Saphire wrote:What is interesting is to see how far different people have progressed along the learning curve, what directions it took, and what they found most interesting along the way. It would be boring indeed if the only comment that occurred on a thread like this if everybody said how wonderful (or whatever) they consider Mozart's Requiem. Do you not agree?
If Teresa won't agree, Saphire, I will. Twenty years ago I hated Sibelius' symphonies (excepting the popular 2nd), now they speak to me like no others. Go figure.

As to Mozart's Requiem, I don't listen to it often enough to "outgrow" it -- every few years or so. In fact, I'm about due for another listen. Thanks for the reminder. :wink:

Concerning Brahms' German Requiem, the comparatively fast Gardiner and ultra-expansive Karajan make for entirely different listening experiences, in my opinion. I can live with both.

Länzchen
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Post by Länzchen » Fri Nov 10, 2006 10:25 am

paulb wrote:For those newbiew who stop at Mozart's Requiem, are missing out on dozens of other highly spiritual sacred works in his masses and other sacred works. If you add it all up it amounts to like 15 cds worth of music of stunning beauty.

Since Brahms and Verdi's requiems were brought up, I feel no sense of the sacred with either, both are good for a concert hall, but please keep them out the cathedreal's.

EDIT: Just went to arkiv, to make sure I was not mistaken that Beethoven actually wrote a mass.
He did. :roll:
Thank god he only wrote 1. :wink:
The Mass in C is not widely recorded, though I hear it does has much more merit than is given credit. The Missa Solemnis is at a higher level of artistry than most creators can dream of.

J Nguyen
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Post by J Nguyen » Fri Nov 10, 2006 11:23 am

Mozart's Requiem does seem like it's more suited for a concert hall than a church. After listening to it a few times, one does outgrow it. Maybe you'll like Faure's Requiem or John Rutter's Requiem.

If you like general sacred music, there's a large number of great pieces. Bach wrote some Masses and Passions including the wonderful Mass in B and St. Matthew's Passion. Pergolesi wrote a the wonderful Stabat Mater and Salve Regina. Of course, there's the other compositions already mentioned.

paulb
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Post by paulb » Fri Nov 10, 2006 4:39 pm

Länzchen wrote:
paulb wrote:For those newbiew who stop at Mozart's Requiem, are missing out on dozens of other highly spiritual sacred works in his masses and other sacred works. If you add it all up it amounts to like 15 cds worth of music of stunning beauty.

Since Brahms and Verdi's requiems were brought up, I feel no sense of the sacred with either, both are good for a concert hall, but please keep them out the cathedreal's.

EDIT: Just went to arkiv, to make sure I was not mistaken that Beethoven actually wrote a mass.
He did. :roll:
Thank god he only wrote 1. :wink:
The Mass in C is not widely recorded, though I hear it does has much more merit than is given credit. The Missa Solemnis is at a higher level of artistry than most creators can dream of.

Seargent:
Yes I did see arkiv list 2 masses, but know that only the Solemnis is refered to as "Beethoven's mass", the one in C is not often recorded nor hardly ever talked about.


"higher level than other composers can only dream of"
Of brother.
Hope my christian ears never hear it. Which so far have been protected from being exposed to it.
Thank god.
shheeeshh
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

Micha

Post by Micha » Fri Nov 10, 2006 5:07 pm

I see since your GMG times you have progressed from judging music and performances based on brief, highly compressed clips to judging music you haven't even heard at all.
I am sorry to see your condition has gotten worse. For a while, you showed some signs of relative sanity. I thought there was still hope. It appears you are now beyond therapy.

RIP

Agnes Selby
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Mozart's Requiem

Post by Agnes Selby » Fri Nov 10, 2006 5:21 pm

Although much has been written about the Requiem and
it has engaged the fantasies of many writers, there are now
known facts that dispute the alleged many hands that supposedly
completed the Requiem.

Mozartean scholars are aware of the attempts of Joseph Eybler
whose handwriting appears on the Requiem manuscript.
On December 21, 1791 he signed the following affidavit :

"The undersigned hereby imparts that Frau Konstanzie Mozart, widow,
has entrusted him with the completion of the Requiem Mass begun by her husband; the same undertakes to complete it by the middle of the
coming Lent and at the same time guarantees that it shall neither
be copied, nor given into other hands than those of the aforementioned
widow.."
Signed, Vienna 21 December 1791.

During this period, as evidenced by records at Kremsmunster Abbey,
Sussmayr was spending Christmas at Kremsmunster where every
year he organised Christmas celebrations. On his return to Vienna,
Constanze engaged Sussmayr to complete Mozart's Requiem which Eybler was unable to do.

In her many letters to the publishers, Breitkopf & Hartel, Constanze stated that together with the incoplete Requiem, she handed over to Sussmayr a number of "Zettel", slips of paper containing sketches of the
Requiem. Her assertions had been dismissed by early 20th century Mozart historians.

In October 1962, however, the renowned Mozart scholar Dr. Wolfgang Plath presented to the Congress of the Gesellschaft fur Musikforschung in Kassel a sheet of sketches of the Requiem in Mozart's handwriting.
On the same page there appears a fragment from the "The Magic Flute",
so the sketches can be dated September of October 1791. More importantly, a number of single sketches were also discovered among Sussmayr's papers held at the Hungarian National Library in Budapest.

We will never know how many sketches were given to Sussmayr and how much these sketches helped Sussmayr in his work, but musicologists agree that none of Sussmayr's own works display the musical genius evident in the parts of the Requiem he completed.

Regards,
Agnes.
---------------------

Teresa B
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Post by Teresa B » Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:27 pm

Saphire wrote:Well Teresa, I was the third poster on the trot who made the same point in a slightly different way. I'm sorry if you find such comments tiresome but that's the way it is with many classical fans: their tastes change over time. What's wrong with saying that? It might help some of these newbies to realise that there's more to classical music than Mozart. I mentioned Schubert and Brahms offerings, as mere examples. What is interesting is to see how far different people have progressed along the learning curve, what directions it took, and what they found most interesting along the way. It would be boring indeed if the only comment that occurred on a thread like this if everybody said how wonderful (or whatever) they consider Mozart's Requiem. Do you not agree?Saphire
Of course I agree! My tastes change over time, too, and as I did say it's a matter of preference. My only quibble is with the implication that has been reiterated several more times in this thread--that if you still find a particular work interesting and enjoyable, you must be unsophisticated or a newbie. That is a bit patronizing.

There's no reason in the world not to explore as many other composers as you wish, and I certainly don't want to imply everyone should agree on things.

And Agnes, your comments are welcome and wonderful!

Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

Agnes Selby
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Mozart's Requiem

Post by Agnes Selby » Fri Nov 10, 2006 6:49 pm

Of course I agree! My tastes change over time, too, and as I did say it's a matter of preference. My only quibble is with the implication that has been reiterated several more times in this thread--that if you still find a particular work interesting and enjoyable, you must be unsophisticated or a newbie. That is a bit patronizing.

There's no reason in the world not to explore as many other composers as you wish, and I certainly don't want to imply everyone should agree on things.

And Agnes, your comments are welcome and wonderful!

Teresa[/quote]
------------------------

Thank you, Teresa. And I agree with you wholeheartedly. We are
all of us different. Therein lies the beauty of all things. Otherwise we
would all listen to the same composition, read the very same book. and admire only one painting.

I am certainly not a newbie, I wish I was, imagine what I would discover along the way. But the compositions I loved many years ago, I still do, only I have added some more beautiful works and more composers to my liking.

Regards,
Agnes.
-----------------

Opus132
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Post by Opus132 » Fri Nov 10, 2006 8:51 pm

paulb wrote: "higher level than other composers can only dream of"
Of brother.
Hope my christian ears never hear it. Which so far have been protected from being exposed to it.
Thank god.
shheeeshh
You forgot to mention Schnittke and Patterson totally own Beethoven. Without such non-relevant comparisons how can your posts be complete?

Länzchen
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Post by Länzchen » Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:08 am

paulb wrote: higher level than other composers can only dream of"
Of brother.
Hope my christian ears never hear it. Which so far have been protected from being exposed to it.
Thank god.
shheeeshh
Well brother, just offering a bit of defense for a great piece of music reaching the upper levels of beauty; mark please that I never said it was HIGHER than other compsers. Often on this board I am reminded of how I will be talking with someone about a food like sashimi, and then another person in the vicinity has to intrude and loudly say "omygosh how can you eat that nasty stuff!" Great addition to the conversation. In this thread, while sashimi was being discussed, someone had to come in and for some reason mention their distaste for french soft-ripened cheeses. Yes indeed, there are no holes in this analogy :wink:

And I agree that great works are just great works; they aren't somehow diminished by their popularity, though addmittedly, often with composers you have to get past a work which is just catchy and commonly heard to know their top tier works; for instance, people often first get to know Debussy through Clair de lune, but the entire suite which is comes from, though attractive, is a trifle compared to a masterwork like Images Book 2. It seems to me that with some composers like Beethoven and Mozart that their most popularly known works are still of very high quality.

paulb
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Post by paulb » Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:19 am

Micha wrote:I see since your GMG times you have progressed from judging music and performances based on brief, highly compressed clips to judging music you haven't even heard at all.
I am sorry to see your condition has gotten worse. For a while, you showed some signs of relative sanity. I thought there was still hope. It appears you are now beyond therapy.

RIP
What happened, GMG has tech issues.
Now you have to come over here and make problems?
Be nice now, and show just how Beethoven 's masses fills your spirit with love for all mankind, even those as scoundrels and rogish as I.
Read Beethoven's libretto to the mass, its in there.
Look if you can't live up the message in his masses, then dump the cd, as its not doing you any benifit.

Now behave over here. So far we've all been good friends. We do not want trouble makers.
If you have nasty things to say, write me a PM, and this way keep a clean CMG.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

Sapphire
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Post by Sapphire » Sat Nov 11, 2006 6:03 am

Teresa B wrote:My only quibble is with the implication that has been reiterated several more times in this thread--that if you still find a particular work interesting and enjoyable, you must be unsophisticated or a newbie. That is a bit patronizing.
Teresa & Agnes: Storm in a tea-cup, ladies: I simply meant that I like the Requiem but do not play it too often because I am not a newbie to classical music. This does not imply that I consider one must be unsophisticated or a newbie if you still find a particular work interesting and enjoyable, as so naively alleged. All I am suggesting is that, as one progresses along the classical music learning curve, so you normally acquire wider interests and sometimes find more interesting works. If so, you are bound to spend less time proportionately listening to works encountered further down the learning curve but which you may still enjoy (as I certainly do in the case of the Requiem). I hope this clears this up.


Saphire

Agnes Selby
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Requiem

Post by Agnes Selby » Sat Nov 11, 2006 6:34 am

Saphire wrote:
Teresa B wrote:My only quibble is with the implication that has been reiterated several more times in this thread--that if you still find a particular work interesting and enjoyable, you must be unsophisticated or a newbie. That is a bit patronizing.
Teresa & Agnes: Storm in a tea-cup, ladies: I simply meant that I like the Requiem but do not play it too often because I am not a newbie to classical music. This does not imply that I consider one must be unsophisticated or a newbie if you still find a particular work interesting and enjoyable, as so naively alleged. All I am suggesting is that, as one progresses along the classical music learning curve, so you normally acquire wider interests and sometimes find more interesting works. If so, you are bound to spend less time proportionately listening to works encountered further down the learning curve but which you may still enjoy (as I certainly do in the case of the Requiem). I hope this clears this up.


Saphire
------------------

Thank you, Saphire. This has been exactly my experience.

Regards,
Agnes.

Micha

Post by Micha » Sat Nov 11, 2006 6:50 am

Länzchen wrote: Well brother, just offering a bit of defense for a great piece of music reaching the upper levels of beauty; mark please that I never said it was HIGHER than other compsers. Often on this board I am reminded of how I will be talking with someone about a food like sashimi, and then another person in the vicinity has to intrude and loudly say "omygosh how can you eat that nasty stuff!" Great addition to the conversation. In this thread, while sashimi was being discussed, someone had to come in and for some reason mention their distaste for french soft-ripened cheeses. Yes indeed, there are no holes in this analogy :wink:
That is a great analogy indeed. I will steal it and use it as if I had come up with it myself.

paulb wrote:So far we've all been good friends. We do not want trouble makers.
Wishful thinking. Looks like your friends here have already figured out what a drivel generator you are:
Opus132 wrote: You forgot to mention Schnittke and Patterson totally own Beethoven. Without such non-relevant comparisons how can your posts be complete?
paulb wrote:Be nice now, and show just how Beethoven 's masses fills your spirit with love for all mankind, even those as scoundrels and rogish as I.
It does. That's why it pains me so much that some people have to live with such a horrible affliction like yours.
I tried to help you, but I failed. Isn't there *some* kind of therapy for you?

Sergeant Rock
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Re: Mozart's requiem

Post by Sergeant Rock » Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:15 am

Dalibor wrote:This Requiem is in a way one of my favourite pieces of music, being hypnoticaly beautifull at times, but...

...don't you think it comes down to parts 1 (introitus), 6 (sequentia, around the middle), 12 and 14 (reprise of introitus)? The rest sounds theatric and common, like Mozart was short on real ideas. Bombast and pathos replace real beauty and elegance, and some parts also sound like 2nd rate Bach (Kyrie).
Isn't it a pitty that the composition as a whole doens't do justice to those several sublime, angelic parts?
No, it's not a pity. I would not prefer a work that had no dramatic contrasts. The sections you describe are indeed angelic and ravishingly beautiful but a requiem needs more than that. This is music about death...DEATH. You object to the music's pathos? How do you then react to death? I react with intense sorrow and pity; compassion for the victims. In other words, with pathos. A requiem that didn't express those sentiments would be no proper requiem in my opinion.

Bombast? Even within the stylistic confines of the Classical era the work is hardly bombastic. Although Beethoven found the work "too terrible and wild", from our viewpoint 200 years later the music comes across as restrained compared to what Verdi and Berlioz made of the mass for the dead.

For me the heart of this requiem, any requiem really, is the Lacrimosa because it describes the most common, and most human, reaction to death. No false hope - just cruel tears. Mozart's Lacrimosa is as intense and emotionally devastating as anything in music.

Sarge
"My unpretending love's the B flat major by the old Budapest done"---John Berryman, Beethoven Triumphant

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Post by paulb » Sat Nov 11, 2006 8:40 am

Micha wrote:
It does. That's why it pains me so much that some people have to live with such a horrible affliction like yours.
I tried to help you, but I failed. Isn't there *some* kind of therapy for you?

Indeed, no denying it, I've suffered all my life with psychological issues.
What keeps me alive and functioning as best as i am able, i limp instead of run like you guys, ...this factor of support is Jesus Christ. He's doing what he can to help me. Sure he is a miracle worker, and so we are taught to have faith and hope. Not easy and I do my best.

Maybe I need to learn some social etiquitte and not bash Beethoven whenever the opportunity arises. It is infantile of me to commit this error.
I do not wish to play the part of CMG dunce, the idiot, the troll.
So why don't we just let this go, and start all over.
btw I did some sound clips last night, seems there's 2 other Puccini Turndot's that I need to purchase.

A friend shared his enthusiasm over Puccini and seems I may have not wakened up to Puccini, due to following some critical posters over at GMG last summer, and i joined i obsequiously with my condemning.
Well I'm in a Puccini re awaking right now and need to take a closer look at the librettos today.

Next month I'll try to doa Puccini topic. Hope we can find common ground in Puccini.

Love, Peace
Paul

EDIT:

I guess my confession helps explain why I'm attracked to "strange composers" I can't help it. Weird music for a weird mind.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

Harvested Sorrow
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Sat Nov 11, 2006 11:56 am

paulb wrote:Look if you can't live up the message in his masses, then dump the cd, as its not doing you any benifit.
Say WHAT?

You don't have to agree with, or live by the 'message' in a piece of music to enjoy it, and if it provides you with enjoyment it is certainly doing some good.

paulb
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Post by paulb » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:06 pm

Harvested Sorrow wrote:
paulb wrote:Look if you can't live up the message in his masses, then dump the cd, as its not doing you any benifit.
Say WHAT?

You don't have to agree with, or live by the 'message' in a piece of music to enjoy it, and if it provides you with enjoyment it is certainly doing some good.
I'm refering to Misha'a attitude towards me.
if he cannot understand Beethoven's libretto in the mass, if the words do not change him, then why even listen to it?
If your music does not bring you to a place of understanding of our fellow men, then what good is it?
I think Micha should sing along with the mass, he may find himself a new man. And thus more tolerant like those as myself.
Woe is me. :cry:
Nice Day.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

Harvested Sorrow
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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:39 pm

It's good because it provides wonderful listening.

What about music that takes a misanthropic stance? Should we not enjoy that unless we agree with the message, or follow it?


Should be interesting...

paulb
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Post by paulb » Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:41 pm

Harvested Sorrow wrote:It's good because it provides wonderful listening.

What about music that takes a misanthropic stance? Should we not enjoy that unless we agree with the message, or follow it?


Should be interesting...
Yes this is what I am also saying, that music is a WONDER-FULL experience. This magical state of childlike wonderment should bring us to a place of humiility, as we make a gracious bow to the sacrifice these artists bore for us in their labors.

Misantropic , as in cynical, antisocial?
I do not have any misanthropic music in my collection.
The only composer I know that fits that term, would be Ligeti, especially in his "opera", Le Grand Macabre. There are some who are big fans of Ligeti, he has quite a singificant following. I make all efforts to avoid his music. There are other late 20th century composers whose music lacks some human element as i understand the term, and avoid their music as well. Each of us has to make our own conclusions.
You and those who love Ligeti may find Schnittke and Pettersson to be music of anarchists. You've a right to that opinion.
In that case you would be wise to avoid their music.

Now this whole thing started by my belief that Beethoven's mass would not be an uplifting experience.
Which to me should be one purpose of music in gerneral, and especially sacred music as presented ina mass.
Now I can undersatnd how my sentiments can be preceived as haughty and arrogant, considering I've not even heard the mass.
And so as always I try to make penance witha confession that in my insolent attitude I will go ahead and buy the work or composer falling under my disdains, and thus free myself of this feeling of guilt.

Which I did in Ligeti's case, and after buying 3 cds + the opera, I actually felt more self destructive by buying music that i know is not for me , right at the start.
I really should refrain from comments that come across as doltish and sappy, even if their are only 'just' an opinion. I do look rather....asinine.

And this is what i think Misha has been trying to tell me over at GMG, and now here.

I can now completely see how this fatuous attitude towards Beethoven has made my comments on Pettersson and Schnittke look all that more , highly dubious, even suspect.

OK,. new leaf turned. Past is past, there's the new road to travel.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:48 pm

a misanthropic person hates the human race. Cynical isn't necessarily bad, for example, Pettersson's work could be taken as very cynical (that's one of the things I love about it). My question remains unanswered, since you believe that we should listen to the message behind the music, what if a person loves a composer whose work has a misanthropic message? (Hypothetical situation, please humor me on this)

Any particular reason that you place a divide with Ligeti fans and those of Schnittke and Pettersson?

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Post by paulb » Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:56 pm

I know what you are getting at.
I've been called xenophobic by at least one member over at GMG, and that accusation was cheered on by many others.
How am I suppose to defend myself and offer solid proof that i am in no way misanthropic anda xenophobe?
Anything i say will be used against me.
I take the 5th, which is my constitutional right.
besides, so far no one here on CMG has felt i am a hater of the human race.
Or is this what you believe of me?
Define this if you can? In relation to me, as you know me. I'm willimng to listen, before I dust these sandals and head on down the road...as i am commanded by my teacher, Jesus Christ.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Sat Nov 11, 2006 4:22 pm

I wasn't making any disguised accusations about you, I assure you. If I thought you were misanthropic I would have said it. You commented on how he should listen to the message behind the music (in this case the message being a love of all humanity, a religious message, something along those lines) so I was just curious if you felt that a person shouldn't listen to music that delivers the opposite message unless they believe in the said message.

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Post by paulb » Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:00 pm

Harvested Sorrow wrote:I wasn't making any disguised accusations about you, I assure you. If I thought you were misanthropic I would have said it. You commented on how he should listen to the message behind the music (in this case the message being a love of all humanity, a religious message, something along those lines) so I was just curious if you felt that a person shouldn't listen to music that delivers the opposite message unless they believe in the said message.

Not sure exactly what you are getting at.
Lets say the case is Mozart's masses.
Now there is the orch part, the choral singing in latin, and the englsih translation.
Lets take the acse of someone who likes Mozart's orchestration, likes choral, sung in latin, but due to their beliefs about god, being atheist, maybe the english translation gets on the nerves and spoils the whole event.
Not sure how that would work itself out. I would guess they might want to skip Mozart's sacred works and just stick to his many other works, which there's plenty to offer.
Is this kinda what you are getting at. That if he does not believe in the message behind sacred works due to his atheism, he should avoid listening.
I think its up to each atheist, and so do whats in his best interest. I have absoluetly no issues in this situation that he makes a conscious choice to disregard Mozart's sacred works.

Now take Schnittke and pettersson.
Again there is a style of writing that some may feel offended and put off with their approach to music. Obviously i respect each person's conclusions on the composers. They may find in the opening few minutes, that the music goes against these inner sensibilities that define music for him, and what music is against him.
One should always listen to the inner domain.
I'm guilty of not getting very far into Mahler and Brucker. After say 5 or 6 minutes, I find myself reaching for the off button. I've tried at least 2X's with each, in several syms, can't recall the exact numbers. But know it was some their core syms. Sure there's moments in each syms that are appealing and moving. Like at the end of one of Mzhler's syms, the gorgous horn section at the end. Really nice scoring.

So yes, If someone has made a fair attempt at either S or P, and really can't get past the opening few minutes, who should criticize?

Hope I made an attempt in answering your question.
Briefly, listen to music which expresses your being, and its suggestive to avoid music which contradicts your essence.
Is that abit clearer?
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

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Post by Sapphire » Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:14 pm

Harvested Sorrow wrote:I wasn't making any disguised accusations about you, I assure you. If I thought you were misanthropic I would have said it. You commented on how he should listen to the message behind the music (in this case the message being a love of all humanity, a religious message, something along those lines) so I was just curious if you felt that a person shouldn't listen to music that delivers the opposite message unless they believe in the said message.
Harvested Sorrow

Wait a mo. I think you have the wrong end of the stick here.

Paul is saying that if you cannot live up to the message in a Mass then it's doing you no benefit. He clearly means that for anyone who likes Masses, and who has an unreasonably negative attitude towards someone else, cannot be hearing the message of the Mass. (I'm not in any way suggesting that Paul's assertion about the particular person was valid).

As a general proposition, that is fair enough isn’t it? I cannot see anything dubious about it at all. But you evidently do. To throw back at Paul a question asking whether a person listening to a piece of music with a misanthropic message (assuming such a piece exists, which you accept is only hypethetical) should follow that message in order to get full enjoyment from that music is ridiculous. It's ridiculous because Paul is obviously only talking about merit in pursuing virtuous messages; there is no merit in pursuing non-virtuous messages.

I hope this answers your question.


Saphire

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:36 pm

In my eyes the enjoyment of the music alone brings benefit if you happen to agree with the message contained within it and 'live up to it' or not. How is it 'not doing you good' if you happen to not listen to the message of the work if you still enjoy it? That's what I'm curious about, as for misanthropic works...yes, such things exist, however, I took that as a hypothetical simply because I couldn't think of anything in the realms of the classical (umbrella term, I apologize) genre that qualifies for that.

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Post by paulb » Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:48 pm

Saphire wrote:
Harvested Sorrow wrote:I wasn't making any disguised accusations about you, I assure you. If I thought you were misanthropic I would have said it. You commented on how he should listen to the message behind the music (in this case the message being a love of all humanity, a religious message, something along those lines) so I was just curious if you felt that a person shouldn't listen to music that delivers the opposite message unless they believe in the said message.
Harvested Sorrow

Wait a mo. I think you have the wrong end of the stick here.

Paul is saying that if you cannot live up to the message in a Mass then it's doing you no benefit. He clearly means that for anyone who likes Masses, and who has an unreasonably negative attitude towards someone else, cannot be hearing the message of the Mass. (I'm not in any way suggesting that Paul's assertion about the particular person was valid).

As a general proposition, that is fair enough isn’t it? I cannot see anything dubious about it at all. But you evidently do. To throw back at Paul a question asking whether a person listening to a piece of music with a misanthropic message (assuming such a piece exists, which you accept is only hypethetical) should follow that message in order to get full enjoyment from that music is ridiculous. It's ridiculous because Paul is obviously only talking about merit in pursuing virtuous messages; there is no merit in pursuing non-virtuous messages.

I hope this answers your question.


Saphire
This certainly clarifies things.
I felt somewhat an attack on me by Harvest and so was saying if you like Beethoven's mass, then hear the words also, and refrain from unfairly criticizing or labeling me as a "misanthrobe", or a 'xenophobe".
My bad, I read Harvest wrong.

Yes it is difficult to postulate a 'xenophobic;" classical music piece.
I mean though Ligeti offends me, I wouldn't consider it "misanthropic"

Though you can recall i did characterize his music as "anarchist"., to me at least, not objectively. That is i hear it as against my idea of music as spiritual.
I believe he was a confessed atheist, but not sure. If so, that might have something to do with why i can't stand his music.

And also i'm sure if i read an account of Beethoven's spiritual outlook on life, it may not align closely with mine. Which again in part is why i am not drawn to most of his music.

Something of the man is in the music.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

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Post by paulb » Sat Nov 11, 2006 5:57 pm

Harvested Sorrow wrote:In my eyes the enjoyment of the music alone brings benefit if you happen to agree with the message contained within it and 'live up to it' or not. How is it 'not doing you good' if you happen to not listen to the message of the work if you still enjoy it? That's what I'm curious about, as for misanthropic works...yes, such things exist, however, I took that as a hypothetical simply because I couldn't think of anything in the realms of the classical (umbrella term, I apologize) genre that qualifies for that.
Thats one approach among many towrads music listening.
Of course not all my fav composers express my ideals, spiritual belielfs.
But those that do, is the ones i'm most moved by.
Although i love bach, i may be more emotional moved by Vivaldi.
though i love Shostakovich, I am more moved and stirred by Schnittke.
this is what I'm getting at.
I like some Chopin, but am not deeply stirred by his music. Now Albeniz's piano solo I love and am moved. So I enjoy more Albeniz than chopin. Possibly the same holds for Grieg who i prefer over Chopin.
Yes I realize Chopin is the finer composer at piano but i am more stirred by Grieg. I also prefer Grieg;s pc 1 more than Chopin's pc1, which is a finer work than Grieg's.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

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Post by Harvested Sorrow » Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:50 pm

I believe we're speaking past each other. Your comment on not getting much out of the mass if one didn't listen to the message made me wonder about how important the said message is. For example, an atheist can still love Beethoven's mass...does it mean the music isn't doing the person 'any good' since the person doesn't believe in the message? It seemed to imply something along those lines, so I was curious about that. No attack was intended.

Micha

Post by Micha » Sat Nov 11, 2006 10:53 pm

You can be a humanist and still think that paulb's comments are retarded drivel. The humanist aspect here is that you don't hate him for that, you fell sorry for him. You suffer with him.

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Post by Sapphire » Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:42 am

Paul, Micha, H-S

I think the discussion here is a bit confused and sterile because everyone is addressing different points.

On a slightly point from the one Paul was making, my view about appreciating a great Mass (whether it's Mozart's, Beethoven's or whoever) is that a religious belief is not necessary. An atheist or agnostic or non-Christian can enjoy the music of a Mass as much as a "believer".

However, would you not accept that a religiously-inclined person may obtain a further benefit because the music means something special to them? Take the Credo for example. An atheist wouldn't have a clue what it's all about, or if he did he might find it offensive. On the other hand, a "believer" would be able to relate to it directly. He would not just appreciate the music but also the music's connotations, and thus be able to "log in" to a different register of satisfaction for a possible extra layer of enjoyment.

If you don't agree, I'm quite happy about that. It's only a fun discussion, and nothing to get worked up about.

I wonder what other people think? Does being religiously inclined mean that you get more enjoyment from listening to Mozart's Requiem than you would otherwise? In my case it does. I don't worry so much about who wrote the end sections, as by then the second "register" has kicked in, and enjoyment continues. Incidentally, as far as I'm concerned, the whole thing hangs together pretty well, and the sublime bits more than compensate for the imperfections elsewhere.


Saphire

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Post by Teresa B » Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:29 am

Saphire wrote: Take the Credo for example. An atheist wouldn't have a clue what it's all about, or if he did he might find it offensive. On the other hand, a "believer" would be able to relate to it directly. He would not just appreciate the music but also the music's connotations, and thus be able to "log in" to a different register of satisfaction for a possible extra layer of enjoyment.

If you don't agree, I'm quite happy about that. It's only a fun discussion, and nothing to get worked up about.

I wonder what other people think? Does being religiously inclined mean that you get more enjoyment from listening to Mozart's Requiem than you would otherwise? In my case it does.
Saphire
Saphire,
I don't know! I do know that as a non-Christian I would never in a million years be offended by the lyrics in a religious work such as the Requiem. (I have sung in these masses many times, along with people of all persuasions.) Just because someone is a non-believer doesn't mean he/she cannot comprehend and appreciate the connotations.

Also, the "religious" or "spiritual" feelings of grandeur, awe and/or humility that are evoked by such music are independent of a belief in Christian or other specific religious doctrines. It is a direct experience--quite possibly a universal human response which may have evolved in our brain. The great genius of these composers lies in their ability to evoke these human emotions so gloriously.

You may feel you get more out of this music because of your religious faith, and that's fine--but can you say how much you would enjoy it without the faith? No more than I could say whether I would enjoy it more with faith. I'm inclined to think it isn't specifically whether you are Christian, or Jewish or whatever, but whether your mind connects directly with the music.

All the best,
Teresa
"We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." ~ The Cheshire Cat

Author of the novel "Creating Will"

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Post by paulb » Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:51 am

Saphire wrote:Paul, Micha, H-S

I think the discussion here is a bit confused and sterile because everyone is addressing different points.

On a slightly point from the one Paul was making, my view about appreciating a great Mass (whether it's Mozart's, Beethoven's or whoever) is that a religious belief is not necessary. An atheist or agnostic or non-Christian can enjoy the music of a Mass as much as a "believer".

However, would you not accept that a religiously-inclined person may obtain a further benefit because the music means something special to them? Take the Credo for example. An atheist wouldn't have a clue what it's all about, or if he did he might find it offensive. On the other hand, a "believer" would be able to relate to it directly. He would not just appreciate the music but also the music's connotations, and thus be able to "log in" to a different register of satisfaction for a possible extra layer of enjoyment.

If you don't agree, I'm quite happy about that. It's only a fun discussion, and nothing to get worked up about.

I wonder what other people think? Does being religiously inclined mean that you get more enjoyment from listening to Mozart's Requiem than you would otherwise? In my case it does. I don't worry so much about who wrote the end sections, as by then the second "register" has kicked in, and enjoyment continues. Incidentally, as far as I'm concerned, the whole thing hangs together pretty well, and the sublime bits more than compensate for the imperfections elsewhere.


Saphire
Teresa has a good point about your point of believer / non believer reaction to Mozart's mass, or other sacred works.

These prayers are drawn from old church sources, which in turn are drawn from Psalms. The words themeslves are nothing new to me, its not like a modern revelation. Now the way they are set in "truly heavenly music" (IMHO), now the words may strike my sould in a more pentrating way.
But of course there are quite many christians that have not heard Mozart's or Beethoven's masses. And those that do, just for the faith does not grant them the privilidge to enjoy Mozart's mass on a higher level than a non-believer.
Teresa may be a case in point. I'm sure she may get more from a Mzoart mass while performing than many christians in the audience redaing along with the performance.
Teresa leaves the concert hall a different person from the experience, whereas the christains in the audience may walk away untouched.
These are all possibilities and surely can't be pinned down as facts, but only postulates.


Now take Schnittke and Pettersson. To me, I find both to have greater spiritual expression than Bach or Mozart's masses. I'll go one even further.....Misha ain't gonna like this one...who cares , this is a forum of freedom as long as one respects others opnions, which he needs to learn....in my mind Schnittke and Pettersson are speaking heavens voice, they are like unto old testament prophets. They are the mouth of Jesus Christ, and are Christ's messengers upon earth set in music.

Misha, that ain't drivel, that's heresy among the christians and ludicrious among the humanists.

Now if I can find no other person who feels this way about their music, then of course I stand alone and isolated. But if in fact there are others, somewhere, who know both composers, and are in sympathy with my ideas, then why should we be condemned as lunatics.
The question is, the others who know both Schnittke and Pettersson, what if they find no such emotional connection to the music as I (and others do), should this imply they are less affected by the music? These others may be atheists, humanists, sunday christians. My guess is that those who a true deep religious faith, will grasp the spiritual message in the music moreso than the atheist.
This is just my personal opinion and should not be judge as scientific fact.

That the spiritual content of the music is somehow blocked to reaching the depths of the atheist. At the sasme tolken a believer may not have the philosophical, or better psychological construct to grasp the message of either composer.
I believe St Paul refers to these christians as "babes in Christ, those who I am only able to give the milk of the Word and not the meat of the Word, STILL in spite of the fact that you have been christians all these years"

I realize some of what I belueve may not find acceptance among either camp, the christian community who have no connevction with classical music, and also the great number of humanists and atheists that make up the majority of classicphile community.

But lets not get over worked over what anyone says, Saphire reminds its only a fun discussion. You have the freedom to ignore my posts.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

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Post by paulb » Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:16 am

Teresa B wrote:
Saphire wrote: Take the Credo for example. An atheist wouldn't have a clue what it's all about, or if he did he might find it offensive. On the other hand, a "believer" would be able to relate to it directly. He would not just appreciate the music but also the music's connotations, and thus be able to "log in" to a different register of satisfaction for a possible extra layer of enjoyment.

If you don't agree, I'm quite happy about that. It's only a fun discussion, and nothing to get worked up about.

I wonder what other people think? Does being religiously inclined mean that you get more enjoyment from listening to Mozart's Requiem than you would otherwise? In my case it does.
Saphire
Saphire,
I don't know! I do know that as a non-Christian I would never in a million years be offended by the lyrics in a religious work such as the Requiem. (I have sung in these masses many times, along with people of all persuasions.) Just because someone is a non-believer doesn't mean he/she cannot comprehend and appreciate the connotations.

Also, the "religious" or "spiritual" feelings of grandeur, awe and/or humility that are evoked by such music are independent of a belief in Christian or other specific religious doctrines. It is a direct experience--quite possibly a universal human response which may have evolved in our brain. The great genius of these composers lies in their ability to evoke these human emotions so gloriously.

You may feel you get more out of this music because of your religious faith, and that's fine--but can you say how much you would enjoy it without the faith? No more than I could say whether I would enjoy it more with faith. I'm inclined to think it isn't specifically whether you are Christian, or Jewish or whatever, but whether your mind connects directly with the music.

All the best,
Teresa

Ah but now we are getting into difficult terrain. Where do the emotions emminate, have their source?
In the brain's chemicals releases of course. But there must be something affecting the physical brain centers. This we call spirit.

I agree just because a classicaphile happens to be christian, lets say witha strong faith, he may not receive the emotional content of say a Beethoven mass, or Bach mass more than does the atheist. But this is difficult to judge as the one may be more of an introvert, the other a extrovert and so express their enthusiasm.

I do believe a christian with a strong living faith will have a deeper emotional connection with the Mzoart masses than the well seasoned classicphile who happens to be atheist all his life.

Likewise, my faith has something to do with my reactions towards Beethoven's music. How that works out is personal and not to be discussed.
AS I shared above, my faith does find a profound connection with the music of Schnittke and Pettetrsson.
Now not all my musical taste is directed by my spiritual faith, but in general this directive force of rejection some, embracing others holds true.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

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Post by Opus132 » Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:22 am

Saphire wrote: On a slightly point from the one Paul was making, my view about appreciating a great Mass (whether it's Mozart's, Beethoven's or whoever) is that a religious belief is not necessary. An atheist or agnostic or non-Christian can enjoy the music of a Mass as much as a "believer".
That's not entierly the case. As i see it, when he admited he never heard the Missa he couldn't simply out right demean the work, so he went out of his way to still dismiss it by making that ridiculous statement.

This is the problem with Paul. Everything he says is driven by his irrational bias. He's completely consumed by it. If somebody could prove to him Schnittke's favored composer and greatest influence was Beethoven, i can guarantee it wouldn't take long before he would start to speak ill about the former...

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Post by paulb » Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:47 am

Opus132 wrote:
Saphire wrote: On a slightly point from the one Paul was making, my view about appreciating a great Mass (whether it's Mozart's, Beethoven's or whoever) is that a religious belief is not necessary. An atheist or agnostic or non-Christian can enjoy the music of a Mass as much as a "believer".
That's not entierly the case. As i see it, when he admited he never heard the Missa he couldn't simply out right demean the work, so he went out of his way to still dismiss it by making that ridiculous statement.

This is the problem with Paul. Everything he says is driven by his irrational bias. He's completely consumed by it. If somebody could prove to him Schnittke's favored composer and greatest influence was Beethoven, i can guarantee it wouldn't take long before he would start to speak ill about the former...

As soon as i finish working through the 2 Philips sets, 9 cds, 11 cds of Mozart's masses etc, I'll see about Beethoven's mass.

I assume what my reaction might be, based on my knowledge (emotional knowlege, as I know nothing of Beethoven in a academic sense) of his music. Some sonatas, syms, sme chamber, concertos. So I anticipating a similar reaction. Which means I really have no desire to hear it, even if it is based on christian prayers. This "attitude" of mine may be seen as pig-headed, and I can understand that call.

Sure Shostakovich ans Schnoberg ( 2 of my favs, were heavily influenced by Mahler. But why should that suggest I may like Mahler?
I do not see the connection?
And here you are postulating "if perchance it was shown that Schnittke is indebted to Beethoven...."
Even if posible, why conclude that Beethoven should also be a fav?
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Nov 12, 2006 6:21 pm

Teresa B wrote:Just because someone is a non-believer doesn't mean he/she cannot comprehend and appreciate the connotations.

Also, the "religious" or "spiritual" feelings of grandeur, awe and/or humility that are evoked by such music are independent of a belief in Christian or other specific religious doctrines. It is a direct experience--quite possibly a universal human response which may have evolved in our brain. The great genius of these composers lies in their ability to evoke these human emotions so gloriously.

You may feel you get more out of this music because of your religious faith, and that's fine--but can you say how much you would enjoy it without the faith? No more than I could say whether I would enjoy it more with faith. I'm inclined to think it isn't specifically whether you are Christian, or Jewish or whatever, but whether your mind connects directly with the music.

All the best,
Teresa
Sorry to disagree, but here we go.

Composers wrote music for specific purposes and moods - music to dine by, music to dance to, music to march to and music for prayer and mass. The audience was expected to be in a state of spiritual receptiveness, and possibly in a state of mental prayer, unknown to (and denied by) most atheists.

Meditation and spiritual practice, the cleansing of the mind and soul, is an "active" participation by the person in the audience/congregation (masses were originally for the church, not the concert hall), whether before or during the music, designed to assist prayer and spiritual practice. It isn't just shock and awe, and the shock and awe is there for a religious purpose. If you listen to the mass and do not acheive unio mystica with the divine, transcending all worldly thoughts and being, then you haven't heard its full potential and purpose, IMHO.

If an atheist listens to a mass and converts on the spot, then they've got it!

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Post by paulb » Sun Nov 12, 2006 6:55 pm

Good Brendan, I could not express it, bor dare to, in those words.
The atheists on the other site dealt me a pretty good blow and have throughly intimidated me into not secluding them out of any musical experience.
That they have just as much right to any music as I. That the idea of religious belief has no part in any experience.
Mozart's masses was not the subject at the time. But in this specific case, Mozart's masses, I find your exposition to have justification.
That a lack og religious belief can hinder the full experience of Mzoart's masses.
Lets also consider if these masses were heard in european cathedreal, and that the hearer knew latin, so did not have to follow along witha english translation.

The home cd experience itself can mean, at least should mean more to a believer than one who denies the spirit of Christianity.

And then to bring the music where it was intended to be heard, in a church, not necessarily a cathedreal, now here the experience takes ona a whole new dimension for the believer.
Will the atheist enter in the church doorways for the Mozartian mass?

Will he be the same man when he leaves the church? All but the hardest of atheists , will be affected in some way. But a confession may not be forthcomming.

Now I guess is the place where the atheists bring up the idea if Mzoart's mass touches me, why not Beethoven's.
I do not have an answer as I've not had the opportunity to hear Beethoven's mass in the church.
Psalm 118:22 The Stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing , it is marvelous in our sight.

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Post by Sergeant Rock » Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:06 pm

Brendan wrote: If you listen to the mass and do not acheive unio mystica with the divine, transcending all worldly thoughts and being, then you haven't heard its full potential and purpose, IMHO.
By Mozart's time, Christian belief was in very short supply, and the composers of the great masses of the 19th century were, if not outright aetheists, not exactly Sunday-go-to-meetin' believers either. The orchestral/choral mass had moved out of the church and into the concert hall; it had ceased to be a merely religious event.

Does a believer get more out of it than a non-believer? I don't know how you could even begin to quantify and measure that. Still, I'd wager I experience a far greater emotional and spiritual connection to most religious music than Paul does...even though he's the pious one and I'm the unbeliever. How do I know that? Paul's expressed his views about religious music often enough, here and in other forums. Most of the music we consider great does nothing for him (his list of approved composers is very small). Ask him how much he enjoys any of the Bruckner Masses or the Te Deum. How often has he had a transcendent spiritual experience listening to Mahler's Resurrection or Brahms' Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras? One doesn't have to be a Bible-thumping believer in order to experience the emotions common to our human condition; or feel the hope and despair we all share given our certain mortality.

Sarge
"My unpretending love's the B flat major by the old Budapest done"---John Berryman, Beethoven Triumphant

Sapphire
Posts: 693
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2006 2:23 am

Post by Sapphire » Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:17 pm

Brendan & Teresa

I presume that Brendan is not saying that one has to be spiritally receptive to get any enjoyment out of a religious piece like a Mass. I understand his point to be that if you are spiritually prepared and receptive you will get more enjoyment than someone who is not. Teresa is arguing the opposite, I think, that religious attitude is immaterial to the degree of enjoyment of a religious piece.
What I am saying, if you read it again carefully, is different: that at the purely MUSICAL level a religious conviction need not make any difference to the amount of enjoyment. But a religious conviction will facilitate an additional but separate kind of enjoyment upon hearing the music, which enjoyment is akin to that being present at a service of which the music is representative.

I'll leave you good people to working out what the hell I'm taking about!

Cheers and best wishes.


Saphire
Last edited by Sapphire on Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sergeant Rock
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 6:00 am
Location: Wine Country, Germany

Post by Sergeant Rock » Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:20 pm

paulb wrote: I do not have an answer as I've not had the opportunity to hear Beethoven's mass in the church.
It's the music that counts, not the building. Moses heard God on a mountain top. He didn't need four holy walls and a roof.

Sarge
"My unpretending love's the B flat major by the old Budapest done"---John Berryman, Beethoven Triumphant

Brendan

Post by Brendan » Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:32 pm

Sergeant Rock wrote:
Brendan wrote: If you listen to the mass and do not acheive unio mystica with the divine, transcending all worldly thoughts and being, then you haven't heard its full potential and purpose, IMHO.
By Mozart's time, Christian belief was in very short supply, and the composers of the great masses of the 19th century were, if not outright aetheists, not exactly Sunday-go-to-meetin' believers either. The orchestral/choral mass had moved out of the church and into the concert hall; it had ceased to be a merely religious event.

Does a believer get more out of it than a non-believer? I don't know how you could even begin to quantify and measure that. Still, I'd wager I experience a far greater emotional and spiritual connection to most religious music than Paul does...even though he's the pious one and I'm the unbeliever. How do I know that? Paul's expressed his views about religious music often enough, here and in other forums. Most of the music we consider great does nothing for him (his list of approved composers is very small). Ask him how much he enjoys any of the Bruckner Masses or the Te Deum. How often has he had a transcendent spiritual experience listening to Mahler's Resurrection or Brahm's Denn alles Fleisch es ist wie Gras? One doesn't have to be a Bible-thumping believer in order to experience the emotions common to our human condition; or feel the hope and despair we all share given our certain mortality.

Sarge
Perhaps not traditional Christians, but educated folk were certainly aware of the practice of religious contemplation, if not from Christianity then from the Greek philosophers that inspired the Enlightenment and such figures as Bruno and Ficinio, and were aware of at least the possibility of acheiving the unio mystica. Mozart himself was deeply influenced by Masonic mysticism. The way to express a lot of the mysticism fashionable for the time was through the more acceptable means of the appearance of an orthodox mass. Wagner tried to reinvent the whole thing with Germanic symbolism and mythology. Religious experience was obviously of the essence to composers.

But for those to whom the unio mystica is a fiction, delusion or mental health problem then they may not have learned how to pray and/or meditate and do not seek to do so. Cutting thmselves off from religious experience and spiritual prasctice (and it does require practice), they have little right to say they know what religious experience is or how it effects people who know it well and seek it regularly.

But that's how I came to "convert" to classical music - by taking up meditation, prayer and contemplation and listening in silence. To me, a piece works when I experience the "divinity" within, and lose myself completely.

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