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Thread: Decoding Beethoven

  1. #91
    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    The operas of Wagner have been mined since their premieres for their psychological content and possible interpretations. Some have even applied Jungian psychology, an approach that uses symbols, archetypes, and dreams to explore the human psyche. Each of Wagner’s operas contains numerous hidden symbols both on the stage and in the musical phrases of the orchestra. By deciphering these symbols, one can discover the unconscious motives and thoughts of the characters within his works. With this understanding, deeper psychological content surfaces in his operas. But Schoenberg mentions the word ‘unconscious’ consciously and Wagner never did that I know of, though there was great psychological content in his music dramas related to the unconscious. The further difference is that Schoenberg dealt with the unconscious within a 20th-century context at the time that Sigmund Freud was on the ascendancy and there was a correspondence of psychology and the music of Schoenberg, if only indirectly. Whatever the psychological content of Wagner, the Freudian unconscious, including its exploration of the abnormal, psychotic, anxious, deeply buried neurotic tendencies and unconscious desires, was not fully revealed and conceptualized until the late 19th and early 20th-century and Wagner had no knowledge of it in that sense. If he did, please point out where he directly talks about the unconscious and subconscious mind. Perhaps he did, but I haven’t seen it yet and it’s not necessary to understand the psychological content of his operas. That’s the difference between the psychological understanding of the 19th and the 20th century. The psychological interests of both composers is another tie that exists between them.
    Yes! I grew up steeped in Freudian theory, having read a good portion of the collected papers at a tender age. The connection you are drawing between Schoenberg and theories on the unconscious and subconscious makes perfect sense to me. Rightly or wrongly, it even colors my aesthetic experience listening to instrumental works like the pieces of Opus 11.

    What greater comfort does time afford than the objects of terror re-encountered and their fraudulence exposed in the flash of reason?
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  3. #92
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    Here are corrections and clarifications of a section in my Post #53, above:

    "Enharmonic alteration of the seventh produces the German augmented sixth chord GBDE#, which resolves as follows:
    Key of B major/minor, on bVI: Gn6-V* OR
    Key of B major/minor, on bVI: Gn6-I(or i)6/4-V*
    *(Here V is the chord of F# major)[/B]

    Key of F# major/minor, on bII: Gn6-I or i*
    Key of F# major/minor, on bII: Gn6-IV(or iv)6/4-I or i*
    *(Here I is the chord of F# major; i is the chord of F# minor)"
    Last edited by Roger Knox; Mar-16-2019 at 18:33.

  4. #93
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    Responding to a post within a quote is very confusing since sometimes people use bold or change sizes in their own posts. It's also true that copying a post, changing it to red, and replying can be confusing because it's hard to find the original post. I have seen several people do the latter, but I don't think I've seen the former until now.

    Please return to the thread topic and related issues.

  5. #94
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmsbls View Post
    Responding to a post within a quote is very confusing since sometimes people use bold or change sizes in their own posts. It's also true that copying a post, changing it to red, and replying can be confusing because it's hard to find the original post. I have seen several people do the latter, but I don't think I've seen the former until now.

    Please return to the thread topic and related issues.
    From now on, I'll post a disclaimer explanation before I do that, to make it blatantly clear that my comments are insertions. It does save a lot of work, though. I don't do it to make things hard to trace.

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    Quote Originally Posted by millionrainbows View Post
    From now on, I'll post a disclaimer explanation before I do that, to make it blatantly clear that my comments are insertions. It does save a lot of work, though. I don't do it to make things hard to trace.
    That's not good enough. Do as other people here do, behave like an adult, and keep your comments out of quotes of other people's words.

  7. #96
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosefinaHW View Post
    This is a rather embarrassing question because I should know this by now but what is "moral, emotional and cognitive decadence"?
    That everything bad is good for you.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-16-2019 at 22:43.
    "That's all Folks!"

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  9. #97
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosefinaHW View Post
    Lark, Thank you very much for taking the time to reply to me above.

    I just cannot believe that you truly mean that no Western CM composer had ever before conveyed the unconscious of the composer, of the time, of reality itself! In all of the many posts of yours that I have read (and admired greatly), you have almost always revealed that you have a very balanced view of reality; what do I mean by that? "a both/and" approach. Not an extremist either/or approach."

    I don't think that you believe that no composer before Schoenberg ever conveyed the subconscious/unconscious before! And, even in the horrors of the 20th century (and as you well know there have been horrors in every century) there is that solid ground/the firm bedrock that is the reality of God. Yes, yes, yes, I know we don't discuss that here. Everyone (but Lark) can say that is ridiculous, but I know that you believe that Lark. You recommended Unity on here!

    And if you want to avoid spirituality and theism in this conversations that is totally ok, we don't need to be explicit about it. Come on, how many times have so many of us said that pleinchant, a Renaissance piece, Monteverdi, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner's music "moves" us, it "resonates in us in a way that we can't (always) explain.

    Respectfully, have you not boxed yourself into something that you don't really believe here?
    I believe Schoenberg deserves more credit than he’s been given. The expression of the true dirt and darkness of the unconscious through atonality, surrealism and the 12-tone system had never been done before until Schoenberg in the 20th century and that’s when you’re really getting the creepy expression of the unconscious being brought to light, the abnormal, the psychotic and the neurotic in a modern context. It affected almost everybody including Bartok and Shostakovich. It’s not that other composers do not have psychological content in the music, but it wasn’t done in the Freudian sense where all the cats had been let out of the bag.

    Of course, what’s left out of this is the lack of interest in anything that might be related to a metaphysical understanding of life that is connected with some philosophy of light or spiritual understanding. That just didn’t happen when virtually everything is reduced to a psychological dynamics, and I believe that’s part of the shortcomings of what composers like Schoenberg, Shostakovich and others did. It’s a whole other subject beyond psychology and I think that’s what their work lacked: The true in-depth exploration of the sacred, spiritual insight, and a metaphysical understanding about the larger dimensions of life where everything is connected and there is a beneficial force operating that can be a source of healing or inner peace. Such an area was usually avoided because it was probably considered too closely related to religion after Friedrich Nietzsche had declared that “God is dead”.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-16-2019 at 23:44.
    "That's all Folks!"

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  11. #98
    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    I believe Schoenberg deserves more credit than he’s been given. The expression of the true dirt and darkness of the unconscious through atonality, surrealism and the 12-tone system had never been done before until Schoenberg...
    Speaking only for myself, there are an infinite number of places I'd rather be than down there slogging through the sewers of Schoenberg's unconscious. Not to mention that it tends to ruin my shoes.


  12. #99
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Speaking only for myself, there are an infinite number of places I'd rather be than down there slogging through the sewers of Schoenberg's unconscious. Not to mention that it tends to ruin my shoes.
    That stuff came out because people were unhappy and society was exploring it as part of the new dimension of the mind. It really was considered an advance at the time but it doesn’t mean that one has to wallow in it or continually expose oneself to it. I don’t particularly care for it myself because sometimes I find it too twisted and psychologically negative. But the full awareness of unconscious and subconscious psychological urges came to light because sometimes what you bury or repress in the unconscious can kill you, such as with certain psychosomatic illnesses related to buried hatred and and negative emotion of that nature. I still find it of value to be aware of this development in music though I don’t often expose myself to it. The understanding of the psychological was not only important in music but society. It was huge and considered healthy at the time. I believe it was. But there was the fascination with the abnormal because just about everyone was considered to have some of those kinky repressed urges.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-17-2019 at 05:32.
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  14. #100
    Senior Member Luchesi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenOC View Post
    Speaking only for myself, there are an infinite number of places I'd rather be than down there slogging through the sewers of Schoenberg's unconscious. Not to mention that it tends to ruin my shoes.
    We hear the tonal relationships don't we? I'm not saying they were implied, but we follow one after the other. Looking at the scores and seeing the inventiveness is captivating. An imitation of the patterns (note groupings) from older music. The short piano pieces seem to continue with a logical end for the beginning half or the beginning third. These discoveries make the music more interesting (we might not expect them). They also seem to teach that we can't get away from these formulae of expression. Is it THE human outlook?
    Tradition is not the worship of ashes - but the preservation of fire!
    Gustav Mahler

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  16. #101
    Senior Member ArsMusica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    I believe Schoenberg deserves more credit than he’s been given. The expression of the true dirt and darkness of the unconscious through atonality, surrealism and the 12-tone system had never been done before until Schoenberg in the 20th century and that’s when you’re really getting the creepy expression of the unconscious being brought to light, the abnormal, the psychotic and the neurotic in a modern context. It affected almost everybody including Bartok and Shostakovich. It’s not that other composers do not have psychological content in the music, but it wasn’t done in the Freudian sense where all the cats had been let out of the bag.

    Of course, what’s left out of this is the lack of interest in anything that might be related to a metaphysical understanding of life that is connected with some philosophy of light or spiritual understanding. That just didn’t happen when virtually everything is reduced to a psychological dynamics, and I believe that’s part of the shortcomings of what composers like Schoenberg, Shostakovich and others did. It’s a whole other subject beyond psychology and I think that’s what their work lacked: The true in-depth exploration of the sacred, spiritual insight, and a metaphysical understanding about the larger dimensions of life where everything is connected and there is a beneficial force operating that can be a source of healing or inner peace. Such an area was usually avoided because it was probably considered too closely related to religion after Friedrich Nietzsche had declared that “God is dead”.
    Schoenberg deserves the blame.
    If it is art, it is not for all, and if it is for all, it is not art. Arnold Schoenberg

    Beauty is assailed from two directions - by the cult of ugliness in the arts, and by the cult of utility in everyday life. Roger Scruton

    It is in the nature of democracy to deny no one access to good things. If those things are really not accessible to all, then the tendency is to deny the fact--simply to proclaim, for example, that what is not art is art. Allan Bloom

  17. #102
    Senior Member JosefinaHW's Avatar
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    I completely understand what you are saying in post 97 and 99, Lark (I still haven't learned how to use the multi-quote function).

    You said it beautifully and so concisely.

    I think post 99 foretells what one of the next major steps will be in CM (and culture--not everyone has been given the opportunity to voice their scream of rage and anguish yet). I suppose that is why I've loved Expressionist painting so much: you see the ugly side of reality but there is always something if not many things that are still beautiful in the best Expressionist work. Expressionism in music, for me, would need to be much shorter in duration, probably because music vibrates every organelle and cell in our bodies.

    I am going to frame the text of those two posts! with a suitable piece of artwork once I decide what I think would be most appropriate!.


  18. #103
    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JosefinaHW View Post
    I completely understand what you are saying in post 97 and 99, Lark (I still haven't learned how to use the multi-quote function).

    You said it beautifully and so concisely.

    I think post 99 foretells what one of the next major steps will be in CM (and culture--not everyone has been given the opportunity to voice their scream of rage and anguish yet). I suppose that is why I've loved Expressionist painting so much: you see the ugly side of reality but there is always something if not many things that are still beautiful in the best Expressionist work. Expressionism in music, for me, would need to be much shorter in duration, probably because music vibrates every organelle and cell in our bodies.

    I am going to frame the text of those two posts! with a suitable piece of artwork once I decide what I think would be most appropriate!.
    Thank you. I love the Expressionists, too. Thelonious Monk once wrote a song called “Ugly Beauty,” and I’ve also seen beauty in ugliness and human shortcomings and defects and it reminds me of how imperfect we all are, but we’re trying, at least most of it, it seems... I hope you show your picture when you’ve finished it. I see art as a form of redemption, that no matter how far humanity can sink that it’s capably of rising from its own ashes and soaring again.

    Last edited by Larkenfield; Mar-17-2019 at 05:55.
    "That's all Folks!"

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  20. #104
    Senior Member millionrainbows's Avatar
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    Two words: Pierot Lunaire

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