I'm retired and as I get older, classical music means more and more to me. Take this song by Greig; it brings your close to nature. Modern music doesn't do that.

Hector Berlioz, Guissepie Verdie, Johannes Brahms, and Gabriel Faure were atheists. It's not all church music.

Tags: aristopus, classical, endmeme, musci

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Replies to This Discussion

That's really lovely. Thanks Richard!
Trance Gemini (great name). Just an aside on this piece. One of my favorite movies is Carlito's Way. Al Pacino sneaks up to the gloomy roofs of Greenwich Village to spy on his ballerina girlfriend who's taking lessons in a NYC upper story loft. As he peer over the ledge and the tough rainy streets, he spies his girlfriend practicing. Th Flower Duet comes out of nowhere as the camera focuses on the dancng ballerina going through her routines. It's like out of a dream.
The Ninth is considered one of the three greatest musical works (along with the Massiah and Wagner's Ring) by scholars.

I doubt there's anything like a real consensus on this. In my experience, today's scholars would rate Tristan higher than the Ring, and Bach's Mass in B above Haendel's Messiah. And of course, tastes vary with time - Haendel was considered a much better composer than Bach two centuries ago. Beethoven thought Haendel was the greatest of all, even superior to himself.
Giuseppina wasn't very religious herself. She had several lovers and children born out of wedlock before her liaison with Verdi, despite public criticism. And she seems to have been more amused than angered by Verdi's refusal to convert to Catholicism.
I dun no This is a pretty important piece in that it launched Tchaikovsky's career and brought him the support of the rich railroad heiress, Madame Von Meck. The Great Piano Concerto in A was his first work while still student. This concerto meant he didn't have to worry about money ever again.

I wonder if Monty would be making fun of it if they knew its importance and history.
Make that B flat.
That's fine. Actually, I once saw one of the members of Monty narrate a splendid documentary on the Crusades. Very good history. Whatever you consider funny is fine.

It's just I have an emotional attachment to the piece.

Do you know the story of Madame von Meck and Anton Rubinstein who wanted him to change it? Tchaikovsky said, "not a note" and almost got thrown out of the conservatory until she intervened.
By the way, did you know that Madame von Meck was an outspoken atheist herself? And that Rubinstein, while -technically- both a Jew and Eastern Christian (converted when he was still a toddler), was actually an unbeliever?
It's so good to share insights with a fellow connaisseur. You know your history. Thanks for the info. I didn't know that about Madame. She was quite a character in that they never met.

When Anton's brother Nicolai died, Tchaikovsky wrote the Trio in A which is really an elegy. They must have been very close because you can feel the depth of the emotion. Listen to this one when you're feeling a little mellow.
Beautiful!
Jaume, thanks for the astute comments. I'm usually ranting about the ill effects of religion on mankind, so this discussion is a pleasure.

The three greatest works were something I read a long time ago and can footnote none of it. The subject is completely subjective and your guess is as good as mine or the musicologist that wrote it.

I think we can agree the Ninth belongs in the top three.

The Mass in B is a good suggestion. I myself love St. Mathew’s Passion after seeing the Casino movie. If you’ve seen the move, the music at the end when they devastated the old Las Vegas hotels like the Sands and the Flamingo.

I remember attending the Mass in B many years ago at St. Bartholomew’s on Park Avenue. I sat in the front pew and fell in love with one of the altos—I was just about 20 at the time. The flirting with the beautiful music made it a night to remember. I’m 65 now.


Haendel was considered a much better composer than Bach two centuries ago

I’d have to disagree with this statement, however. Bach died in 1750; luckily for humanity Mozart was born the same year. But Bach’s life’s work lied virtually dormant for 75 years. In the year 1809, nobody had ever heard of J.S. Bach except children who might have attended church 60 years prior.

Just for fun, care to guess the great man (although he was a teenage music student at the time) who resurrected the Bach legacy?

Answer in my next post.

Clue, as teenagers he and his sister Rebecca would memorize Julius Caesar or other Shakespeare play and put on a show for friends and relatives, often at the home of Goethe. The two memorized and acted out all the roles. I wonder how many young people today could do it.
I’d have to disagree with this statement, however. Bach died in 1750; luckily for humanity Mozart was born the same year.

1756 actually (remember 2006 was "Mozart year"?). And he died in 1791 (1991 was another Mozart year) at 36, contrary to what you wrote earlier.

But Bach’s life’s work lied virtually dormant for 75 years. In the year 1809, nobody had ever heard of J.S. Bach

It's true his music wasn't played much for a while, but he was far from unknown to musicians and educated people. Mozart knew (at least parts of) his music well, especially the Mass and Passions. Beethoven ditto (and he repeatedly said Haendel was the greatest of the two).

care to guess the great man (although he was a teenage music student at the time) who resurrected the Bach legacy?

No need to guess: it's well known that Mendelssohn played a prominent role in this revival. Bach teached music to Johann Friedrich Fasch, who teached his own son, who teached Zelter, who teached the Mendelssohns. So it was actually an unbroken legacy line.

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