Thursday, December 23, 2010


"Berlioz says nothing in his music, but he says it magnificently."
James Gibbons Huneker


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  2. C'est la desinvolture! I wish, we could get back into this condition in Germany!! When did we loose it? Wrong question. When did we reach it? Right question! With Johann Strauss jr.

    But Johann Strauss is such a wonderful example not only by himself, but also by contrast to a background of Bach, Beethoven and Wagner. And one cannot dance every day, have birthday everyday and celebrate christmas everyday, unless you are Louis XIV, the most splendid example of desinvolture which doesn't only represent the power of desinvolture, but also the desinvolture of power.

    In other words, you have to be french to fete parties every day without getting fed up. Or at least austrian! Or from Upper Saxony, like Karl May!!

    We have always something to say in Germany, even Berlioz's friend Carl Maria von Weber was involved in the growing of a german national identity; but if you do listen with attention all those brilliant spokesmen of easyness, ZEN and desinvolture, you may discover that they are telling you a lot, but quite often even with a kind of noisy militance for je-me-fottism (especially in Italy), which is the other side of King Louis XIV of whom even his opposers admitted "Quel Roi!!"

    Anyway, in Germany we have to ask us, when we lost desinvolture definitively. And we have to get back to it, with the help of Judith Holofernes and some other friends

  3. Berlioz is a wonderful example for the descrete realistic love for life I have in mind (and of which we spoke also yesterday). It is not by chance that Carlos Sauras was inspired by Carmen to a great movie.

    Be aware, what a great event that is!!! A man who accepts inspiring input concerning his country. From a work on his country, created by a foreigner abroad (and all this around a country like Spain). And be aware that the anthropological questions involved are not just some details like in the germanic area the differences between USA, Germany and Sweden. Sauros's film is worth to stay in anyone's DVD collection, and when the Carmen by Barenboim and Emma Dante at La Scala will be issued, take immediatly the DVD.

    Berlioz is great entertainment, indeed Great Entertainment. I also love very much Massenet and Puccini. And Rossini obviously! If there only was a composer like Rossini today...

    The question at the end is, why Oscar Wilde has to be considered a dandy, while Antoine de Rivarol mustn't be considered a dandy.

  4. Berlioz in addition shows a paradox, since he doesn't say us anything, when he tried to do so. But he still is saying us a lot, where he didn't try to do so.

  5. Dear epitimaios, I couldn't agree more. "Being deep and meaningful" is no substitute for being authentic as an artist.

  6. Great men often come from provincial area's! It is very annoying that in the wikis of the germanic languages we usually get informed on the institutional backgrounds of a person (schools & personalities which had influence in the formation), but very often not around the family and the geocultural environment. In the english wiki at least we learn that Berlioz's father was an atheist liberal, his mother an orthodox catholic, they were 5 siblings of whom 3 died allthough dad was a doctor. That was still a time when suffering and death were not attributes of people coming from elsewhere to be stored in the banlieu, but something familiar to the families of educated people. Of my father's siblings as well only 2 out of 8 became adult! Our LIFE WEALTH is so young!! Can such an exceptional situation be stable? Can Cockayne really last?

    Berlioz didn't play piano, because his father had disincouraged him (he played recorder, flageolett and guitar...).

    This was the area Berlioz came from

    He did not only grow up there himself. His family had been living there for many generations.

  7. Thank you, dear Michael, the convergence makes me happy

  8. I understand Huneker´s remark as a typical razzle-dazzle that is popular in the office of feature pages (feuilleton). He certainly didn´t write his article on the Symphonie fantastique which obviously has some ambitious contents.

  9. Exactly, cs, Huneker was speaking as if Berlioz had written nothing else besides Carmen or 50 carmenlike operas.

  10. dear epitimaios, now I understand your (legitimate) enthousiasm for Carmen and Sauras. But oviously you confuses Berlioz with Bizet, don´t you?

    As your great admirer I permit a little but malicious joy....

  11. "Bizet says nothing in his music, but he says it magnificently."