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Thread: Suffering for Art

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    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    Default Suffering for Art

    Do you believe this is necessary to make good art, or do you LOVE works by artists that suffered little.

    Mozart is probably my favorite musician/composer of all time, and he is said to have suffered greatly in life.

    Deformed ear causing health issues.
    Father blaming him for the death of his mother.
    Tourette's Syndrome (caused lots of his quirks like blurting things out).
    Possible OCD.

    etc.

    https://www.grunge.com/194140/the-tr...ory-of-mozart/

    I'm not sure it's needed though, but it does seem common.

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    I'm wondering; what do you want from us by making threads like these? <My Love of Mozart Has Been Steady>, <Beethoven/Mozart: A Dichotomy>.

    Quote Originally Posted by hammeredklavier View Post
    I have a question; through all these years, you've been regularly making Mozart threads that are (imv) essentially just "variants" of your <Why I Believe Mozart is So Successful>, <Mozart Really is the King of Composers> -but what are your true "motivations" behind them? What sort of discussions do you wish to stimulate with threads of generic titles like "I still like Mozart"? Why not instead just revive one of the countless Mozart appreciation threads from the past, if you have something positive to say about him?
    I'm starting to wonder if they're all also just variants of your <Mozart Is My Enemy>, <Does Beethoven Have the Strongest Voice of the Big Three?>, albeit, with less explicit negativity in the title.
    I still get the impression that even in these newer threads, you're still trying to get people to express negativity about Mozart, just for you to arrive at the conclusion; "Mozart simply wrote to please his audience, and Beethoven was better as an "artist"".
    Quote Originally Posted by Captainnumber36 View Post
    do you LOVE works by artists that suffered little. Mozart is probably my favorite musician/composer of all time, and he is said to have suffered greatly in life.
    You can get straight to the point if you want to. ex. "lacks the depth (through expressions of desolateness) of Schubert", like how our some of our wonderful members who are no longer here with us, namely Jacck and NLAdriaan, expressed on several occasions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Captainnumber36 View Post
    Tourette's Syndrome (caused lots of his quirks like blurting things out).
    I believe this has been debunked already.
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Sep-27-2021 at 05:45.

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    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    This notion has been discussed to death on here, but I don't think there is good and bad art, just what you enjoy.

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    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    I suppose the point I'm attempting to get at is, is there such thing as better or worse in art, and if so, who claims those titles?

    I having been on a Mozart kick, so he is who my threads revolve around.

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    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    I think I am struggling right now with my opinions on music. In HS I was a big Dave Matthews Band fan. In college I got really into Phish, and all kinds of other music. It was in college where I started taking myself too seriously and started basing my opinions on music on my ego rather than what I actually thought and felt.

    Now I have grown out of DMB and Phish and much of the other music I heard in college, but can't seem to find a new favorite.

    My mind is still a bit cluttered with all these biases I've built up during my college years.

    So these threads are me battling that struggle, and Mozart is at the center since he is considered a huge genius, and I want to enjoy music of Geniuses.

    I also wish for my own music to fit in with what I'm listening to, and I want to think it's great.

    However, in the back of my mind, I do believe it's all opinion.
    Last edited by Captainnumber36; Sep-27-2021 at 00:18.

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    Senior Member EdwardBast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captainnumber36 View Post
    Do you believe this is necessary to make good art, or do you LOVE works by artists that suffered little.
    No, suffering is not necessary. I don't keep track of suffering (except my own) when listening to and judging composers.

    Your frogs make me shudder with intolerable loathing and I shall be miserable for the rest of my life remembering them.
    — Mikhail Bulgakov, The Fatal Eggs

    When a true genius appears on the earth, you may know him by this sign, that all of the dunces are in confederacy against him.
    — Jonathan Swift

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    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdwardBast View Post
    No, suffering is not necessary. I don't keep track of suffering (except my own) when listening to and judging composers.

    Exactly the way it should be. I'm way too pre-occupied with the notion of the tortured genius. It consumes me.

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    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    I do really enjoy the music of David Gray, but am allowing my mind to be concerned with his legacy when that doesn't matter at all. All that matters is that I enjoy it.

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    Only because it is difficult to make a living as an artist -- it is not as valued as being an investment banker or a sports star -- so a little suffering is more prevalent.

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    How do you measure the suffering someone has gone through in their lives? There are a lot of different things that can cause suffering, much of it internal, not even necessarily related to X or Y events or external situations that the wider public knows about.

    Going through hardships I think can build character and lead to certain insights, but depression is often related to stagnation and a lack of productivity. I suspect most artists are most productive during times they feel relatively stable and content.

    There are a lot of factors that are related to creativity, the suffering artist is too simplistic a notion for me. If suffering was directly related to artistic talent, the world would be chalk full of brilliant artists.

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    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captainnumber36 View Post
    I do really enjoy the music of David Gray, but am allowing my mind to be concerned with his legacy when that doesn't matter at all. All that matters is that I enjoy it.
    Also enjoy Jack Johnson and John Mayer.

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    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdc View Post
    How do you measure the suffering someone has gone through in their lives? There are a lot of different things that can cause suffering, much of it internal, not even necessarily related to X or Y events or external situations that the wider public knows about.

    Going through hardships I think can build character and lead to certain insights, but depression is often related to stagnation and a lack of productivity. I suspect most artists are most productive during times they feel relatively stable and content.

    There are a lot of factors that are related to creativity, the suffering artist is too simplistic a notion for me. If suffering was directly related to artistic talent, the world would be chalk full of brilliant artists.
    It's certainly not as simple as it is usually made to be.

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    Would Mozart have produced music as good as what he produced if he had not gone thru the 'suffering' that he did?
    Did he know he was suffering?
    Maybe those around him suffered worse fates and he considered himself fortunate not to have to go thru what others were experiencing.

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    Senior Member Captainnumber36's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Festus View Post
    Would Mozart have produced music as good as what he produced if he had not gone thru the 'suffering' that he did?
    Did he know he was suffering?
    Maybe those around him suffered worse fates and he considered himself fortunate not to have to go thru what others were experiencing.
    Good points, my good sir.

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    Senior Member hammeredklavier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captainnumber36 View Post
    So these threads are me battling that struggle, and Mozart is at the center since he is considered a huge genius, and I want to enjoy music of Geniuses.
    Quote Originally Posted by Captainnumber36 View Post
    I'm way too pre-occupied with the notion of the tortured genius. It consumes me.
    I know what you're trying to say, but we must also think in terms of the proper "historical context" how Mozart and his contemporaries "thought art" in their own time.

    "For God's sake, do read the bulky but very interesting book on Mozart by Otto Jahn. You will see from it what a wonderful, irreproachable, infinitely kind, and angelically pure nature he had. He was the incarnation of the ideal of a great artist who creates because of an unconscious stirring of his genius. He wrote music as the nightingales sing, i.e. without pausing to think, without doing violence to himself. [...] Everyone loved him; he had the most marvelous, cheerful, and equable temperament. There was not a whit of pride in him. Whenever he met Haydn, he would express his love and veneration for him in the most sincere and fervent terms. The purity of his soul was absolute. He knew neither envy nor vengefulness nor spite, and I think that all this can be heard in his music, which has reconciling, clarifying, and caressing properties [...]"

    "Richard Wagner, the most violent spokesman of the Romantic Period, could call him 'music's genius of light and love'; and this without contradiction, for in such a view Wagner was in full agreement even with the opponents of his own art—with Robert Schumann, who called Mozart's G minor Symphony a work 'of Grecian lightness and grace' (Griechisch schwebende Grazie)."

    "When Mozart's name is mentioned in association with Beethoven, however, Berlioz no longer shrinks from differentiation of grade: clearly Beethoven is superior. Speaking of Mozart's 'Prague' Symphony (no.38, K.504), he grants it some merit, but remarks that 'it seems to us infinitely removed from Beethoven's sublimities'. Mozart is 'pleasant, gentle, graceful, witty', but Beethoven 'by his majestic stature ... arouses respect not without some element of terror'." .........
    "But at times he does avow it most freely: 'There is something discouraging, even irritating about the unfailing beauty of this somewhat lengthy work, always so serene and full of self-assurance, obliging you to pay it constant homage from start to finish.' This utterance appears in a generally favourable criticism about a performance of Le Nozze di Figaro cited earlier in this article. So it is this so-called classical poise and tranquility, attributed to Mozart, that irritates him above all."

    Schumann hailed 'Altvater' Haydn as welcome relief from 'this chronically diseased era of music', in which one only rarely could be 'inwardly satisfied'. Haydn whose music offered satisfaction because of its conservative integrity, provided relief from a painful awareness of inadequacy by being 'clear as sunlight ... bereft of any sense of ennui with life, and inspiring nothing except for joy, love of life, and a childlike happiness about everything'.

    "The church here also is wonderfully beautiful. Here, as you know, is the monument of M. Haydn. It is very fine, but is badly placed in an obscure out-of-the-way corner. The inscriptions, all about in different directions, have something childish about them; Haydn's head is contained in an urn. I thought to myself, ‘May thy pure and peaceful spirit hover around me, dear Haydn! If I can ever become like thee, peaceful and guileless, in all matters none on earth has such deep reverence for thee as I have.’ (Sad tears fell from my eyes, and we went on.)" -Schubert

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodduck View Post
    Beethoven was necessary, Wagner was necessary, so that those things could be said. Was the "perfect" elegance and poise of ideal Classicism violated in order to say them? Yes - and thank goodness it was! For "perfection" is itself an imperfect image of life.
    Quote Originally Posted by fbjim View Post
    generally the "revolutionary" view on Beethoven, as inflated as it is (this is not a "bringing Beet down a notch thing", more an anti-Great Man view of musical history) is less on specific formal innovation and more on a change in the view of art which was associated with his personality and music.
    ^I think there is some truth to these.
    Last edited by hammeredklavier; Sep-27-2021 at 05:34.

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