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Post 80

Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 7:07pmSanction this postReply
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Sam,

Elephants have already been dealt with around here. Ducks too.

Michael




Post 81

Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 7:15pmSanction this postReply
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Hey Sam, there’s a dickfore on your shoulder.



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Post 82

Thursday, April 14, 2005 - 11:55pmSanction this postReply
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Holy smokes! I'm away putting up a website, doing films scores, writting music, keeping my grades and otherwise saving the world, only to miss a disscussion like this one. Yeoww!

First of all, Newberry has criticized Lanza for not having lived up to his full potential. It does not mean that what Lanza did do with his work was bad, immoral, or unenjoyable; but that Lanza did not have the courage to pursue his own artistic vision and his fullest potential. I myself am only marginally familiar with his output so I will leave this aspect of the debate alone.

Speaking as a fellow artist, however, I understand completely the points that Newberry makes when he states in effect that not all genres of an art are created equal. As a musician myself, I have played and composed works in classical, jazz, and rock idioms. While I liked doing the jazz and rock, I felt that as genres they don't allow me as full of a range of expression as classical does. Thus it is within the realm of classical music that I do most of my work.

As to the idea (as some have falsely attributed this idea to Newberry) that an artist should be primarily interested in the larger forms, I say poppycock! When I begin to write a piece, I usually have no notion of how large and complex any given work is going to be. Everything is determined by theme (i.e. the overall idea I'm trying to communicate). Sometimes, I discover that I need to 'say' more in respect to a given theme, and thus my work becomes larger and more complex. Other times I look at a work and decide that I can state a given point more succintly and so I reduce the scope of the work. In either situation it is the theme and not the scope that remains the determining factor. In my own work, I am just beginning to tackle some of the larger and more complex forms in music as, I am growing technically and emotionally as an artist.

Someone (I'm not quite sure who) brought up a question to the effect of why should composing a film-score be thought of as any different from composing an Opera or a ballet. First, let's put things into context. Rand observed in The Romantic Manifesto, that the main artistic content of a film is dependent on the primary art of literature (i.e. a screenplay), whereas Opera and ballet remain dependent on music. Therefore, composing for film is essentially different than composing an Opera or ballet because when I compose a film score, I am trying to help complete the artistic vision of the screenwriter/director. When I compose a ballet or an Opera, I am the source of the artistic vision. This isn't to say there isn't any artistic merit in film scores. Quite the contrary. Many times, I have found that my film scores have many admirable aspects. I recently revisited the main theme of a score I did of a student film called "The Urn." I decided that I liked the theme so much, I decided that I would put it on my recital, but being that it was written as part of a greater whole, I had to do some adjusting to the piece in order to make it stand on its own aesthetically. I hope to write many film score as the work can be lucrative, but I cannot make my own musical vision through film scoring, due to its nature. Therefore, I must compose music in other genres so that I am able to offer my full artistic vision. Film-scoring is not inferior in technical aspects to other forms of music composition, but a composer cannot effectively rely on it to communicate an artistic vision of his own.

whew! Damn I'm long-winded.

Oh wait. There's more

News Flash!!

www.musicatb.com is now available for your viewing pleasure. The store should be finished shortly and I will let everyone here know as soon as it is.

Adam




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Post 83

Friday, April 15, 2005 - 12:30amSanction this postReply
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Michael wrote:
"A special type of self-esteemed is gained by being true to your talent. For Mario Lanza the only place he would find that is in the opera house."

Lanza didn’t choose Hollywood at the expense of an operatic career, Hollywood chose him.

As a 26 year old he naively believed that he could do both, make films as well as pursue his opera aspirations. The unprecedented overnight success and notoriety achieved in the movies, coupled with an iron clad seven year contract with MGM put a seal on his operatic dream forever.

That he was extremely serious about opera is evidenced by the fact that he lived the rest of his short life with an increased sense of guilt for not having attained his goal.

His accomplishments, however, are monumental, and he should be judged purely on those regardless of where they took place.

 




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Post 84

Friday, April 15, 2005 - 2:24amSanction this postReply
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What's emerged from all this is that Michael N. is simply confused (doesn't even know what intrinsicism is, let alone that he is guilty of it) & some others are simply very silly, unable to resist trivialising something, as they usually do, as a rebellion against the fact that they don't understand it. Such simpletons should have the good manners to shut up.

Let me say this loudly & clearly. If some esthetic half-wit wishes to denigrate Mario Lanza on SOLOHQ, either concretely or abstractly, he'd better come up with something way better than the musically illiterate witterings of his detractors on this thread. Otherwise "duck for cover" is what he must do, & that most assuredly will not save him. I've had a lifetime of pig-ignorant snobs/slobs trying to demean a talent they don't begin to understand. I sure as hell ain't gonna let them get away with it here.

Linz
(Edited by Lindsay Perigo
on 4/15, 2:56am)




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Post 85

Friday, April 15, 2005 - 6:20amSanction this postReply
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Peter, how can I dispute the brilliance of Duke Ellington at such a momentous time that finds us on the same side of an issue?  :)

Adam, I very much appreciated your post here  (though I am honestly at a loss as to how Michael N. would evaluate your explicit endorsement of film scores partially because they are "lucrative"). 
 
I won't dispute (and haven't disputed) the notion that classical idioms are of a complex sort; what I have said is that the complexity differs between classical and jazz idioms.  As an artist, you might justifiably find the former idiom to be more challenging, and an outlet for a greater range of your self-expression.  But I know plenty of artists who were trained classical musicians, and who would say the same thing about jazz, precisely because of its demands on "spontaneous" composition (or improvisation) and its complex polyrhythmic forms.  (Indeed, artists as varied as Andre Previn and Wynton Marsalis, who studied, performed, and recorded in the classical idiom, ultimately said that jazz improvisation provided them with the greater range of self-expression.  To each his own!)

I appreciate greatly your comments on scope and film scores, though I am not fully sold on those distinctions you suggest between opera-ballet and scores.  (I think an argument can be made that opera and ballet still express a story, and that the music is not as independent of the story as one might think; in any event, there are plenty of classic Broadway musicals that follow the same pattern as opera, but I bet that some here would still say an "opera" is "superior.")

Be that as it may, what you have expressed about the distinction between film scores and concert works mirrors Rozsa's views:  Rozsa never saw film scoring as inferior in its technical aspects and his film scores express a distinctive character---as do the scores of other great film score composers:  I can tell (almost immediately) the difference among scores written by the masters of film scoring precisely because of their distinctive styles, which they bring to any work---whether it be a Biblical epic, a film noir, a Western, or a sci-fi extravaganza.  The distinctive styles of the composers show up no matter what, whether we're talking about a Rozsa score or scores written by John Williams, Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman, Alex North, or Max Steiner.   Rozsa expressed a distinctive style and vision through his film scores, but film scoring as such was a distinctive genre, in his view:  "Film-making is a composite art, a Wagnerian Gesamtkunstwerk, and film music should be written this way," he wrote.  Still, Adam, he would have agreed with you:  he found the composition of concert works in a classical "idiom" to be most expressive of a fully self-generated artistic vision.  But like you, he extolled the virtues of film scoring, often adopted his film scores for the concert hall, and didn't see his "double life" as requiring any "sell-out" of his artistic integrity.  Indeed, there is not a film score to his credit that does not express the authenticity of Rozsa's art.

I've said what I believe is all that I can say on this particular thread about this issue.  So, I'm moving on... thanks for the engagement.


(Edited by sciabarra on 4/15, 6:23am)




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Post 86

Friday, April 15, 2005 - 6:43amSanction this postReply
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Ah, Lindsay.

 

Aren’t you going to get it that no one here is trivializing Lanza, including me, I have profound respect for his genius and profound pity for his self-destruction…there is a lesson here to be learned and that lesson is:

  • "The total passion for the total height."
  • Rational passion & passionate reason.
  • Say what you mean, & mean what you say.
  • "This above all, to thine own self be true."

 

Michael




Post 87

Friday, April 15, 2005 - 8:23amSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Mike N, for finally putting it into bullets points...its such a relief after seeing posts 3000 words long on Solo.

Being a katerwauling alley kat scratching out a living as a powerpoint artist, I'm not at all familiar with classical or opera music. Never had an interest. That has changed. My colonel is going to help me expand my musical tastes.  Talk about learning from the master. This could get very interesting..... 




Post 88

Friday, April 15, 2005 - 2:20pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Michael. It's nice to know that at least one person didn't gag on my half-baked upside down cake. ;-)

J



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Post 89

Friday, April 15, 2005 - 2:35pmSanction this postReply
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Dr. Sciabarra said:
Adam, I very much appreciated your post here  (though I am honestly at a loss as to how Michael N. would evaluate your explicit endorsement of film scores partially because they are "lucrative"). 

I say:
The lucrative aspects of film scoring is only part of the reason I recommend composers pursue such a path. As I've said before, a composer can not use film scores as a chief staple of their artistic vision (because the composer's role in regard to films is to fulfill the artistic vision of the director who fulfills the artistic vision of the screenplay), but there are other aspects to this line of work that make it unique, challenging and enjoyable in its own right. It gives composers a chance to exercise their ability to capture the essence of a scene, character, and/or emotion; a skill which is vital in the composition of Opera's, ballet, and program music. Also, the composer usually has about four to eight weeks to compose (sometimes less), orchestrate, rehearse, and record at least two hours of music. Usually those 4-8 weeks are sheer hell for a composer's schedule, but many composers usually find that they are able to focus better in their own work outside of films.

Dr. Diabolical also says:
But I know plenty of artists who were trained classical musicians, and who would say the same thing about jazz, precisely because of its demands on "spontaneous" composition (or improvisation) and its complex polyrhythmic forms. 

I say:
Polyrhythm is by no means a mainly jazz phenomenon. Many of my works utilize hemiolas, polymeters, and other means of creating polyrhythm. As for improvisation, many of the great master composers and instrumentalists of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic areas were extraordinary improvisors. Before the 20th century, improvised cadenzas were very common. I am working on developing a classical music equivalent of a jazz lead sheet so that classical musicians will again find the opportunity to improvise. But enough hair-splitting already.

Dr. Diabolical goes on to say:
I appreciate greatly your comments on scope and film scores, though I am not fully sold on those distinctions you suggest between opera-ballet and scores.  (I think an argument can be made that opera and ballet still express a story, and that the music is not as independent of the story as one might think; in any event, there are plenty of classic Broadway musicals that follow the same pattern as opera, but I bet that some here would still say an "opera" is "superior.")

I say:
It is not a question of superiority (or at least in my view). Although Opera and ballet make use of a story, that story is told through means of music. The literary aspects (though important and indispensable) are secondary to the musical content.

Adam

www.musicatb.com



Post 90

Friday, April 15, 2005 - 8:22pmSanction this postReply
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Adam,

 

Great posts and I liked your quick flow of thought over these complex issues. You have got your eyes wide open. I have a lot of confidence that you will know what to do when the time comes.

 

Man ya gotta get your CD’s out. I loved the short samples…it was wonderful to feel so much emotion, intelligence, complexity, and beauty coming through in such a fresh way.

 

Michael




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Post 91

Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 2:21amSanction this postReply
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Michael,

To settle our score, I am well aware of your opposition to anything Postmodern. However, you yourself said that you would "take" Duchamp and Cage over Lanza, despite the radical discrepancy in quality, because of the fact that they had more "integrity" or whatever.

That's where I disagree with you. I disagree with your emphasis on purity or form *over* quality -- i.e., on standards over results. That emphasis easily leads to an overemphasis, whose effects are very harmful and visible in the artistic world all around us. I think the effects of an excess in the opposite direction are much less harmful.    

Alec




Post 92

Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 5:17amSanction this postReply
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Alec, to Newberry:

To settle our score, I am well aware of your opposition to anything Postmodern. However, you yourself said that you would "take" Duchamp and Cage over Lanza, despite the radical discrepancy in quality, because of the fact that they had more "integrity" or whatever.

I can't be bothered trawling back through this whole, largely disreputable thread. Newberry, you didn't actually say that, did you?

Linz









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Post 93

Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 5:53amSanction this postReply
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Alec, Linz,
I am not Newberry, but just to save everyone's time - I asked a similar question to Michael before and here is his answer:

You (me-Hong) wrote: “You always say that so-and-so is a great or excellent postmodernist. What do you mean exactly by “great” or “excellent”?”

 

Yes I do and I am not being sarcastic. Perhaps this will help, substitute “Communist” for “Postmodernist” and see if that works for you, ie. Stalin was a great communist. Get it?

 

Michael





Post 94

Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 6:29amSanction this postReply
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Alec,

 

If I understand you correctly you believe that art should be integrated with purity and skill? If so, I celebrate that.

 

I know I was provocative about the artists I would “take” but there is something very serious behind that. Since I was young I have studied art history. Most western artists that rise to recognition have had artistic integrity that manifested itself in their unique voice. That seems to be the common denominator among such different artists and postmodern artists as da Vinci and Duchamp. No matter how skilled an artist might be without a pure vision they do not rise out of obscurity. An interesting exception is Bouguereau, www.artrenewal.org The whole of the 20th Century is loaded with artists with a modernist or pm visions, totally crazy and “out there” following leads that led to all kinds of insane and strange ends—where were the great representational artists following their pure visions? Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parish, with as much skill as they had, with all the popularity they had, cannot compete because they were commercial craftsmen and not artists in the creator-like sense of a da Vinci or the having wacko artistic integrity of Duchamp.

 

For me personally, there was lesson there to be learned that had a double benefit: if I follow my vision 100% not only do I get to bathe in the exaltation of the experience but will also be leaving the door open for historical recognition. Rand mentioned, paraphrasing here (and I would appreciate anyone who could cite this quote of hers), that the modern phenomenon was allowed by default because of the men of talent/genius did not step up to the plate.

 

Artistic integrity = truth to ones vision, elation, possibility of leadership of cultural (r)evolution, individuality.

 

…but…and…wait…before you rush off on what I didn’t say or include…art is about an integrated package. There are a lot of factors and they weigh in so please give me the benefit of the doubt and think of artistic integrity as major factor in an ideal and integrated view of art.

 

Michael




Post 95

Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 6:45amSanction this postReply
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I believe I saw Newberry saying this:

"Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parish, with as much skill as they had, with all the popularity they had, cannot compete because they were commercial craftsmen and not artists in the creator-like sense of a da Vinci or the having wacko artistic integrity of Duchamp."

Please tell me I'm delusional.

Linz





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Post 96

Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 6:58amSanction this postReply
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OK, it's just been pointed out to me that Newberry said on this thread:

"Another wicked point but very truthful, is that I respect several PM artists for their artistic integrity. I would take Duchamp and John Cage anytime over Rozsa and Lanza."

Well then, Newberry, you are a maggot. Get the fuck away from SOLO, you creep. And anyone who supports his low-life position. Get the fuck out of here. Now. For ever.

Linz






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Post 97

Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 7:21amSanction this postReply
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Michael N. wrote:

Another wicked point but very truthful, is that  I respect several PM artists for their artistic integrity. I would take Duchamp and John Cage anytime over Rozsa and Lanza.
And a hundred posts later he defined "artistic integrity" as:

truth to ones vision, elation, possibility of leadership of cultural (r)evolution, individuality.
Good God, man - have you even studied Lanza's life, let alone listened to his finest recordings?

Truth to one's vision: "I sing each word as though it were my last on earth." And he did. As the wonderful Maltese tenor Oreste Kirkop observed, "Lanza died a little every time he sang. He was so generous with his singing."

Elation: This quality overflows in practically everything he sang. It's unmistakable. 

Leadership of cultural revolution: There is barely a leading opera singer alive who wasn't influenced and/or inspired by Lanza. From Pavarotti, Carreras and Domingo to Hovorostovsky and the up-and-coming Calleja - they all acknowledge their debt to Lanza. "If I'm an opera singer," Jose Carreras remarked to Linz in 1994, "it's thanks to Mario Lanza." Carreras, in particular, learned from Lanza that great singing doesn't mean just hitting the notes - one must also sing from the soul. 

Individuality: "I am not the second Caruso. I'm the first Mario Lanza." In his singing - as much as in his non-conformist attitude towards the primness of his times - Lanza exemplified individuality. To quote Enrico Caruso, Jnr:

"Musically speaking, Lanza grew up on records, including my father's, yet he imitated no one; his recordings of operatic selections are original interpretations."

And from the great baritone Lawrence Tibbett (in 1950): "In fifty years people will recognise Lanza for the great artist he is."

Don't talk to me about John Cage and his ilk having "integrity." While they sneered at life; Lanza celebrated it. He gave his singing everything he had - what more can you expect from any artist?




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Post 98

Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 7:43amSanction this postReply
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Derek - in case you missed it: Newberry is out of here. Anyone who lauds Duchamp & Cage over Lanza & Rosza does not belong within a zillion miles of here. Newberry has shown himself to be a smart-ass postmodern sneerer, a liar & a hypocrite. He's gone. And his groupies had better go too. SOLO was founded for those who take The Romantic Manifesto seriously. Duchamp & Cage? Please!

Linz



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Post 99

Saturday, April 16, 2005 - 8:02amSanction this postReply
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Goodbye then, Linz. And thanks for everything.



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