Sonorous air

on August 4, 2008 with 0 comments » | ,

Daniel Barenboim, in an old article from 2001, writing about Mahler's music, writes:

To me the only valuable definition of music is Busoni's, when he said that music was sonorous air, nothing more and nothing less. Everything else that people say about music, that it is mathematical, that it is emotional, that it is rational, that it is given to hysteria, actually says nothing about the music as music. It says a lot about our reaction to it, but it does not say much about the music.
Busoni, of course, is Ferruccio Dante Michelangiolo Benvenuto Busoni, an Italian composer, pianist, teacher of piano and composition, and conductor.

And Barenboim, who until recently was chief music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is a famous pianist and conductor and currently "music director of the Berlin State Opera and its orchestra, the Berlin Staatskapelle; as Maestro Scaligero, a sort of principal guest conductor, at La Scala Opera in Milan; and as founding director of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, based in Seville, Spain, that mingles Israeli (Jewish and Palestinian) and Arab youths.". Barenboim is known to many because of the controversial movie, Hilary and Jackie *ing Emily Watson and Rachel Griffiths as the du Pre sisters; Barenboim being the husband of the renowned cellist, Jacqueline de Pre.

I had missed this news in late 2006, when current New York Philharmonic music director, Lorin Maazel, recommended Barenboim to be his successor; though Barenboim was NOT interested in returning to the US at the current moment. Learn something new every day!

In addition, I learned today that Barenboim is a great messenger for peace between Israelis and Palestine. In fact, although he is Jewish, he irks many Israelis because he is sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and in fact, recently created a furor by accepting Palestinian citizenship, writing:

"I have often made the statement that the destinies of the Israeli and Palestinian people are inextricably linked and that there is no military solution to the conflict. My recent acceptance of Palestinian nationality has given me the opportunity to demonstrate this more tangibly.

...
In any occupied territory, the occupiers are responsible for the quality of life of the occupied, and in the case of the Palestinians, the different Israeli governments over the last forty years have failed miserably. The Palestinians naturally must continue to resist the occupation and all attempts to deny them basic individual needs and statehood. However, for their own sake this resistance must not express itself through violence. Crossing the boundary from adamant resistance (including non-violent demonstrations and protests) to violence only results in more innocent victims and does not serve the long-term interests of the Palestinian people. At the same time, the citizens of Israel have just as much cause to be alert to the needs and rights of the Palestinian people (both within and outside Israel) as they do to their own. After all, in the sense that we share one land and one destiny, we should all have dual citizenship."
All very topical reading after reading The Plot and Palestine. (Actually not coincidental - I sought my way here!)
Enough talk of strife. Time now for some classical music - -- let that sonorous air permeate my every being. I think I might have a Barenboim conducted CSO symphony in my collection. (For sure have a couple of CDs conducted by his predecessor at the CSO - Sir Georg Solti.)

--
Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. ~Berthold Auerbach

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