Last night Daughter Gray and I attended a concert. The technical quality of the performance was outstanding --- but alas, the compositions chosen for the first segments of the show were utterly incomprehensible to me. All were 20th Century pieces, and all had what I can only describe as a total lack of necessity. Change any note, change any dozen notes, and the music would sound the same --- a pointless progression of tones, without theme or development.

I was inspired during one of the works to write a poem that captured the feel of the moment:

Cow, Calf,
    Phony Moo:

For an exegesis, see the title of this item.

Blessedly, the evening was redeemed by the last presentation --- a Beethoven piece, String Quartet in C sharp major, Op. 131 (1826). In her program commentary Bonnie Jo Dopp hit the bullseye when she observed:

... the seamlessness of this grand work, played without pauses between movements, is one of the elements (along with thematic and key relationships) that gives the variety it contains the coherence of single-minded deep exploration of complexity so characteristic of Beethoven's musical imagination at the end of his life.

Coherence --- precisely right. I found the music hard to understand, but if I listen to it again and study it, I am confident that it will make sense --- unlike those pieces that preceded it.

But really, I shouldn't fret! Not only were there no frets on any of the instruments (^_^), but already all the silly noises of the early evening are forgotten.

What persists? Form and structure. Simplicity within complexity. Patterns of beauty. Years from now (centuries? millennia? more?) the essence of essence will remain. There will be Bach ...

(see also BuechnerMagic (27 Oct 2000), CreativeDevices (1 Jan 2001), AwesomelySimple (26 Jan 2001), ArtAndIdeas (1 Sep 2001), OceansOfNotions (10 Dec 2001), ...)

TopicArt - TopicPoetry - TopicPersonalHistory - 2003-04-27

(correlates: Purpose of a Poem, DisSanity, AbsenceOfEvidence, ...)