The World on the Moon

“I was cut off from the world. There was no one to confuse or torment me, and I was forced to become original.” An often overlooked genius, he is a towering, dicreet Colossus in terms of genre. How could someone produce oratorios, as The Creation and The Seasons are, with such mastery in spite of…

Of Solitude.

The contagion is very dangerous in the crowd. A man must either imitate the vicious or hate them both are dangerous things, either to resemble them because they are many or to hate many because they are unresembling to ourselves… If a man do not first discharge both himself and his mind of the burden…

Boston Cream Pie and dreams.

Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream! My spirit not awakening, till the beam Of an Eternity should bring the morrow. Yes! tho’ that long dream were of hopeless sorrow, ’Twere better than the cold reality Of waking life, to him whose heart must be, And hath been still, upon the lovely earth,…

Beethoven’s Letters & Kirschtorte.

For this purpose I should be pleased if you would let me have by degrees the scores of the masters which you have, as for example, Mozart’s Requiem,  Haydn’s Masses; and  especially everything of the scores of, for instance, Haydn, Mozart, Bach, Johann Sebastian Bach, Emanuel, &c. Of Emanuel Bach’s pianoforte works I have only…

The Bright Stream

Music is a means capable of expressing dark dramatism and pure rapture, suffering and ecstasy, fiery and cold fury, melancholy and wild merriment – and the subtlest nuances and interplay of these feelings which words are powerless to express and which are unattainable in painting and sculpture. Dmitri Shostakovich Shostakovich was a true representation of Tolstoy’s…

Schopenhauer’s wisdom of life.

The inexpressible depth of all music, by virtue of which it floats past us as a paradise quite familiar and yet eternally remote, and is so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality and remote from…

Anke Pie and other thoughts.

Art is not, as the metaphysicians say, the manifestation of some mysterious idea of beauty or God; it is not, as the aesthetical physiologists say, a game in which man lets off his excess of stored-up energy; it is not the expression of man’s emotions by external signs; it is not the production of pleasing…

A Weary Hour

“Consciousness of self was an inherent function of matter once it was organized as life, and if that function was enhanced it turned against the organism that bore it, strove to fathom and explain the very phenomenon that produced it, a hope-filled and hopeless striving of life to comprehend itself, as if nature were rummaging…

A Hunger Artist.

“It is as if a person were a prisoner, and he had not only the intention to escape, which would perhaps be attainable, but also, and indeed simultaneously, the intention to rebuild the prison as a pleasure dome for himself. But if he escapes, he cannot rebuild, and if he rebuilds, he cannot escape.” ―…

Eureka!

Suddenly the dying man raised himself on his elbows; his glance seemed like lightning to his terror-stricken children, the hair that fringed his temples rose, every wrinkle in his face quivered with excitement, a breath of inspiration passed over his face and made it sublime. He raised a hand, clenched in frenzy, with the cry…

A Weekend Celebration.

Music is not a delusion but a revelation. And its triumphant force lies precisely in the fact that it opens up to us elements of beauty which would be inaccessible to us in any other sphere, and the contemplation of which reconciles us with life not temporarily but forever. Letter to Nadezha von Meck, 17 December…

The sublime is limitless.

“It is the Land of Truth (enchanted name!), surrounded by a wide and stormy ocean, the true home of illusion, where many a fog bank and ice, that soon melts away, tempt us to believe in new lands, while constantly deceiving the adventurous mariner with vain hopes, and involving him in adventures which he can…