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Post 20

Thursday, September 9, 2004 - 3:26amSanction this postReply
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Her Majesty wrote:

"Okay, Peter, I'll do my best to take you through my adventures with Tristan -- but I can't do it until I finish an article I'm working on."

Quite right, too! This is a *very* important article. Mr. Cresswell, would you please stop deflecting Mrs. Branden with your breathless inquiries about that pompous blowhard, Wagner, well-known purveyor of meretricious meandering muck, if I may quote myself. Ayn Rand was quite right to detest him, though what on earth she had against poor Ludwig I can't imagine. Malevolent??!! It is incomprehensible to me that anyone, let alone Ayn Rand, could pronounce Beethoven malevolent. You have to wonder how much Beethoven she'd actually listened to.

Linz



Post 21

Thursday, September 9, 2004 - 4:32pmSanction this postReply
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Barbara said: "I'll do my best to take you through my adventures with Tristan -- but I can't do it until I finish an article I'm working on. But I won't forget."

Excellent! And thank you for the AR music answers. (I'd thought Alan G was a jazz man, and Allan B the Mozartian? )

"I'll give you a snippet now. As I was leaving the Met that night, in a kind of ecstatic trance, I saw two handsome, elegant young men who also were leaving; they wore dinner suits, and capes which swung behind them, and one gestured with an ornamental cane -- and I was sure there was a heaven, and that I had entered it.To be continued."

Oooh, this is going to be a great article. :-)

I'm left wondering on  your speculations concerning AR's non-objection to your Wagner-love ... is that another article? :)))

(And I am indeed still breathing - despite my musings on Mahler - so perhaps James has momentarily left the building? Or expired in disgust?)


 




Post 22

Thursday, September 9, 2004 - 8:06pmSanction this postReply
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Barbara- Lindsay still lives for three reasons:
1) He REALLY HEARS Mario Lanza, as we do, from the center of his mind and heart right out to the ends of his grape-stained fingers.
2) Since he REALLY HEARS Mario Lanza, he has proven that his mind and heart are great and his soul is pure: ALL ELSE is forgiven.
3) The above numbers one and two having given the greatest proof that he understands what is important in life, these little comparative errors like missing Strauss, Mahler and Domingo can easily be corrected by listening to them in our presence accompanied by some at-a-minimum decent wine.

Lesser mortals had best be more wary.



Post 23

Thursday, September 9, 2004 - 8:10pmSanction this postReply
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Cass-
is there ANY music more joyous or energetic than the ending of Beethoven's 9th Symphony?



Post 24

Thursday, September 9, 2004 - 10:56pmSanction this postReply
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Cass, I don't know why Rand thought Beethoven's music was malevolent. I don't believe she ever said.

Barbara



Post 25

Friday, September 10, 2004 - 2:35amSanction this postReply
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is there ANY music more joyous or energetic than the ending of Beethoven's 9th Symphony?

James,

If there is, I haven't heard it.
I love it best at the end of a still, baking hot summer afternoon, as the sun is starting to slide westwards, the shadows are lengthening, the green parrots are cavorting and a glass of cold Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand, the best in the world) is frosting the outside of a crystal. 
Cass




Post 26

Friday, September 10, 2004 - 3:34pmSanction this postReply
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While not in the same cosmic league as The Ninth, the Seventh is a particular joy. Try equating the benignly mischievous third movement, Presto, with the word "malevolent." Does not compute, dear Ayn!! :-)

Linz



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Post 27

Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 8:54amSanction this postReply
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Due to Peter's enthusiasm and due to a brooding mood (believe it or not I can only take so much Kant and postmodern art), tonight I went shopping for books and music and bought a Monet art book and The Best of the Ring.

 

My feeling of appreciation of that music and art exceeded my joy of a gourmet meal (Jennifer's hackles raise) or drinking great wine (Lindsay's, and Jennifer's, hackles rise). The apathy of the mood was not blown away but it slowly evolved onto a different level of thinking and feeling.

 

Karl Bohm conducted The Ring, after twenty years of "can't standing" Mozart Bohm managed to convince me of Mozart's beauty and genius, I guessed correctly that if any conductor was going to help me with Wagner it would be him.

 

The book on Monet is unbelievably good. Over 400 pages and at least that many images, the writing seems to be great as well, the few tidbits I read described the work (very well) and what Monet was doing around the time of the work.

 

I listened to the music as I looked at the paintings.

 

But truth be known, in-between,  I also prepared and ate a superb Smithfield ham steak with Grey Poupon mustard, extremely fresh Brussels sprouts that had a hint of a woody taste, and a huge glass of crisp, clean, and very cold Pinot Grigio!

 

Revisiting Monet was startling. Every single painting was different. Different colors, moods, temperatures; his ingenuity is amazing, how in the world does he find such combinations of glorious colors that truthfully convey a fog-ladened day in London?

 

I was thinking that the contrast between Monet and Wagner huge but perhaps it is not. With Wagner it is not about the what but about the how, and how! The music is stunningly grand, layered with sparkling colors, big themes and interspersed with a strangely sensitive intimacy.

 

Sometimes Monet's sea or fields has an area of color that is compelling and particular, like a gray earthy violet surrounded by a sea of lime green dotted with pale pinks...but it is not just wacko colors thrown together as an experiment...there is something very truthful about it...I have seen something just like that odd violet, really looking direct at nature! He didn't make it up it was there, in his field of vision, at that moment; he had a magnificent eye for the freshness and importance of direct perception of reality.

 

I didn't do any work last night but I woke up at 6 am, drank a cappuccino in a large, chipped ceramic cup with a French design, and studied five paintings, all of them not too far from completion.

 

One of them, Venus, has something wrong with the color scheme, it needs a major neutral color scheme as a bridge between the startling pinks and oranges and the dark violet blues...and today, clarity arrived into my head, an off gray-pale-green is the ticket, and it already works! But for such an important work I am now certain I will need more studies and I just booked a ticket to visit a friend in Salt Lake and I will take my easel and pastels and do a series of mountains and water with the same lighting and same general background as Venus.

 

The grandness of Wagner's vision and the startling freshness of Monet, recharged my spirit.

 

And isn't that what art is about?

 

(Edited by Newberry on 9/25, 2:18pm)




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Post 28

Saturday, September 25, 2004 - 4:19pmSanction this postReply
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Aha! All has become clear! We all know that the music/food dichotomy is another of those falsies - thus I have been puzzled by the appeal of the musical flatulence of Wagner to certain Objectivists. Now I see how this comes about. It's the Brussels sprouts.

Seriously, Michael, what a beautiful word-picture you paint. I shall salute the moment with some Swan Lake.

Linz





Post 29

Tuesday, September 28, 2004 - 10:11pmSanction this postReply
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"With Wagner it is not about the what but about the how, and how! The music is stunningly grand, layered with sparkling colors, big themes and interspersed with a strangely sensitive intimacy."

Ah, Michael, and I haven't I always said you show exceptional taste. :-)




Post 30

Wednesday, September 29, 2004 - 1:27pmSanction this postReply
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What I really enjoy about Wagner was learning about the intensity of effort that he put in every aspect of his opera. Unlike a great many other composers of his time, he was as meticulous about the lighting, costumes, libretto, scenery, stage placement, etc. He even came up with the term Gesamkunstwerk (I don't know if it's spelled right being that I'm in a computer lab and not at home to verify) which literally means all-encompassing work. It was his intent (and I think he largely succeeded) to create not only a musical work, but a dramatic, and visual work of art as well. In other words, he's the first multi-media artist!

Adam



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