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Thread: I am amazed by all the spiritual music written by atheist composers

  1. #46
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    This thread is specifically about which composers were atheists/agnostics/believers of some kind and to some extent about the ability of non-believers to write spiritual music. It is not about belief in general or religion in general. Please refrain from general comments about belief or religion and focus on the thread topic.

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  3. #47
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    To me, the question of whether a composer came down on one side or another of a question is less significant than the question of whether he or she was a searcher, a questioner. To make really great art, perhaps especially music, it might not actually be necessary to be the kind of person who doubts the authorities and the crowds, but it probably really helps.
    Liberty for wolves is death to the lambs.

  4. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdc View Post
    This wiki list is also dubious:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_atheists_in_music

    There is no evidence of Ravel being an atheist, and as stated before Prokofiev is also highly questionable. However you will notice that even on the dubious wiki list there is no mention of Brahms, Bartok, Mahler, Debussy, Mozart, Beethoven etc.
    Bartok was an atheist for a time. Works during that period included the first two string quartets, his opera, and The Wooden Prince.

  5. #49
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    Agree 100%. And you put it more delicately than I would have. Religious belief may inform text content, If text is part of a composition, but skill and ingenuity are really the only points of interest worth talking about. Messiaen immediately comes to mind in this regard. Being a non believer myself, his ‘programmatic impetus’ doesn’t really interest me in any meaningful ‘compositional’ way, but his unique methodology fascinates me

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    I imagine Beethoven was a pre-Nietzschesque ‘believer’...

  7. #51
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    OP has an considerate idea about this whole matter, even though there might be some inaccuracies in the list. Thanks for this thread.
    In God I Hope, in Music I Trust.

    Beyond Truth and Falsehood, There is Magic.

    Oscar Wilde is the Man.

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