By Michael Alec Rose
Author and composer Michael Alec Rose is helping readers decode the symptoms composers provide us of their music—sounds that invoke very specific ideas, photographs, and cultural contexts—and unearths the extreme ingenuity with which convinced items set up recognizable figures in a musical landscape. None of this is often performed systematically. each one paintings reinvents "the code" and calls for a different set of approaches. But the chapters during this invigorating book spring from an analogous musical floor, the place the single factor that issues is to concentrate on the wonders of significant music.
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Extra resources for Audible Signs: Essays from a Musical Ground
His setting passes quickly through the “creep tearfully away” bit of Schiller’s poem as if he were embarrassed by the text. With a much blither spirit, however, Beethoven seizes upon another line of Schiller’s and simply will not let it go: “All people become brothers” (Alle Menschen werden Brüder). ” Schiller’s “Kiss for all the World” is given comparable emphasis. The music distills the poem down to several essential lines; in the process, the integrity of Schiller’s text is both torn asunder and redefined.
Their music directly and Earning Your Song 39 immediately constitutes an experience of suffering, an ordeal of abiding through hardship, a reaching for truth, an upholding of goodness, an achieving of wisdom. As listeners, we bear witness to these acts of courage and, if brave enough, we learn what it means to hope for as much in our own travails. Ludwig and the Fab Four do not instruct us in the art of moderating our emotions as Sophocles and Aeschylus did, by offering a negative example such as the fatally immoderate Oedipus or Elektra.
To a fallen, vindictive Lucifer like Salieri, this flavor of Paradise is too tantalizing, and thus unbearable. The effect on all Mozart lovers is not dissimilar, even if we have less at stake than Salieri does in the music’s beauty. But do we? How are we not to believe in Eden, when Mozart presents it to us so vividly, in such sweet and tormenting attainability, surpassing all petty doctrinal renderings of the place? Composers have always drawn upon audible signs as raw material to be manipulated, combined, broken down, obliterated, and reinvested with new meaning.