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People who don't listen to those lesser-known composers and still make judgments about them — Are they really different from 99.99% of people in the world who think classical music is simply too outdated to be taken seriously? We are just closed in our nerdy little circles. It's questionable for whom this "objective greatness" thing is relevant.
Composers of the period 1000~1700, it could be said that their music is simply less accessible than Bach, Mozart, Beethoven.
I have an extensive playlist of the works of many lesser-known composers mostly of the 19th century and most of my CM listening these days is of their works. Given your fixation on the 2 or 3 composers (particularly M.Haydn), you keep mentioning, I just may have more experience with lesser-known composers than you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,042 ·
I don't care. The point is it doesn't change the way I feel about Mozart's music.

Really that's just semantic juggling to avoid the idea of objective "greatness" or "goodness". The end result is the same. Call it whatever you want.
The conclusion is correct in that I have no use for the idea of objective greatness or goodness, only of the individual's personal assessment of greatness or goodness. This has been clear from the beginning of this and the previous thread.
 

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I very rarely post anything on anywhere (so I hope I'm not considered an interloper here), but I wanted to offer the thought that profundity is evident in the intersection between complexity and clear ability to evoke an emotional reaction. Thus, a complex piece of music that is still capable of being 'owned' at an emotional level is surely profound. I well remember, many, many years ago, when I first heard Brandenburg No.4 sitting back in silence at the end, and just wispering "wow...". It seems that, every now and then, I find some further subtlety, and my "wow" has been joined by the unspoken wonderment that anyone (i.e. Bach) could possibly be that clever.
Strange Magic said:
My thinking on this subject has me crystallizing the idea of the Profound being the ultimate state of an ascending Sublime. And so I repeat my thesis that profundity is attained only within science as it pierces through a jumble of disconnected facts to reveal vast unifying structures linking those facts. This idea is well explored in a book I have begun reading, The Scientific Sublime by Alan G. Gross, the author of several books on science communication and the literature of science. I find the book an excellent presentation of my views--the only difference is that Gross does not employ the nicety that I do in naming the findings and the problems leading to the findings of science--he merely uses the term ''scientific sublime' as his endpoint, the ultimate sublimity that science recognizes. I use instead the term "profound" as a synonym for Gross' scientific sublime. If I have the energy, I'll likely review the book here on TC when finished.
 

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I have an extensive playlist of the works of many lesser-known composers mostly of the 19th century and most of my CM listening these days is of their works. Given your fixation on the 2 or 3 composers (particularly M.Haydn), you keep mentioning, I just may have more experience with lesser-known composers than you.
As I said before, by mentioning Haydn, I'm not just picking any random "underappreciated/underrated composer" arbitrarily, - I'm talking in terms of the traits he has with respect to Mozart —darkness in chromatic harmony, minor keys, and fluidity of instrumental melody, vocal writing, etc. I don't know if you've understood me fully. You listen to lesser-known composers? Good for you. Even when you see things in contemporaries of Beethoven that Beethoven lacks - (maybe your idolatry of Beethoven is too strong) you don't want to admit it.
 

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anyone who dismisses their work cannot help but come off as an ignorant fool.
They aren't some sort of deities; dismissing them won't get you in hell, for goodness' sake.
It is a trite display of fanboyism that appears primarily on Internet forums.
Well, it's the fanboyism around one-trick ponies like cheesy song writers who can't even read music that truly baffles me (subjectively). We don't even know if they're going to survive the test of time. Why make judgments on them now?
 

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Suggesting that the popularity of X composer is not totally a reflection of their greatness (& instead may be a result of something like random chance) shouldn't be confused with suggesting that X composer does not deserve to be popular at all, or that X composer was never to some extent better than his contemporaries. I don't think anyone here would find that objectionable
 

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[...] Nessun Dorma [...] seemed to get an enthusiastic response (though much that goes on in this show is staged and comes off as phony), I was very happy to see it. But how many watching were familiar with the opera that aria comes from, which character sings it, and why? [...]
Everyone in the UK knows that Nessun Dorma was written expressly to capture the triumph and tragedy of the 1990 Italia World Cup. Most notably, the failure of Chris Waddle to convert a penalty in the semi-final against Germany. I mean, come on fluteman, do you think we're dim or something? ;)


Michael Haydn is a secondary composer because that has been the judgment of history.
Judgements of history shift of course. Bach and Mahler are two composers about whom it has been said that they were underappreciated until someone came along and spread the word to the contrary. It doesn't matter that what has been said may not be true - it matters that we recognise the myth and the truth as not dissimilar in their reliance on transmission across the relevant population, and not necessarily by any objective and definitive assessment.

Crediting Bernstein with, or blaming him for, the ubiquity of Mahler’s music today seems wildly over-simplistic. [...] On the other hand, Bernstein was the most famous, most successful, most prolific, most influential and most discussed Mahler interpreter who has ever lived. Of course he didn’t rediscover Mahler or rescue Mahler’s music from oblivion, but one would be hard pressed to think of any other conductor who did as much or more to facilitate the dissemination and understanding of Mahler’s music.

For about 50 years after Bach’s death, his music was neglected. This was only natural; in the days of Haydn and Mozart, no one could be expected to take much interest in a composer who had been considered old-fashioned even in his lifetime—especially since his music was not readily available, and half of it (the church cantatas) was fast becoming useless as a result of changes in religious thought. At the same time, musicians of the late 18th century were neither so ignorant of Bach’s music nor so insensitive to its influence as some modern authors have suggested. Emanuel Bach’s debt to his father was considerable, and Bach exercised a profound and acknowledged influence directly on Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.
 

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The conclusion is correct in that I have no use for the idea of objective greatness or goodness, only of the individual's personal assessment of greatness or goodness. This has been clear from the beginning of this and the previous thread.
And I have no use for conflating science with art. Following that line of thinking, sex is far more profound than either.
 

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And I have no use for conflating science with art.
There is a quote from Walker Percy who got a MD but only was a practicing doctor for a short time before he contracted tuberculosis. After three years of convalescence Percy decided to try his hand at writing: "Science can tell you about man, in general, but literature tells you about the individual."
 

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There is a quote from Walker Percy who got a MD but only was a practicing doctor for a short time before he contracted tuberculosis. After three years of convalescence Percy decided to try his hand at writing: "Science can tell you about man, in general, but literature tells you about the individual."
Einstein recognized a difference: "If what is seen and experienced is portrayed in the language of logic, then it is science. If it is communicated through forms whose constructions are not accessible to the conscious mind but are recognized intuitively, then it is art".
 

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So the more "objective", the more "professional"?
I stand by the things I said about Rosen. His books are supposed to describe real history from an objective point of view, and yet they're too full of personal opinions. Not to discredit any of the composers discussed, I think it demonstrates how much influence a critic can have on the masses with his personal opinions. For instance, he calls religious music of the Classical period, namely Mozart's requiem, "Baroque pastiche", but that just a blatantly personal opinion. If you try to ignore the "Classical elements", you'll only see it as "Baroque pastiche". The recitative and aria might as well be "Baroque pastiche", depending on how you look at them.
Even the works Rosen tries to make out to be the "origin of all things Classical", such as Haydn Op.20 No.2, which even has an archaic fugue lacking Classical sense of drama and pacing/breathing (such as rhythm, dynamic, mood changes) in its final movement, can be seen as such, depending on how you look at it.
Vivaldi RV522/ii: watch?v=pL37dgznKoM&t=3m24s
Haydn Op.20 No.2/ii: watch?v=vX_hZPRRERA&t=10m15s
It's all about how one frames things. One could even point to Berlioz, Schumann, Hanslick and other Romantics' comments about a certain "welcome old friend", and interpret all the things based on them.
 

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As with Lincoln you never can tell if an Einstein quote is genuine or not, but I came across this one which was footnoted as coming from another source, so take it or leave it I guess:
It is impossible for me to say whether Bach or Mozart means more to me. In music, I do not look for logic. I am quite intuitive on the whole and know no theories. I never like work if I cannot intuitively grasp its inner unity”.

Anyway, so much for "inexorable logic". :ROFLMAO:
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,057 ·
Einstein recognized a difference: "If what is seen and experienced is portrayed in the language of logic, then it is science. If it is communicated through forms whose constructions are not accessible to the conscious mind but are recognized intuitively, then it is art".
We recollect that Einstein grew up in a world of Freud and Jung, who seemed to have gotten to the bottom of several of the mysteries of human life and thought, and Einstein willingly agreed to their truths in the area of intuition and the subconscious. I also recall the quote of Theodore Reik writing to his colleague Freud about Freud"s psychoanalysis of Mahler: "He sought for the hidden metaphysical truth behind and beyond the phenomena of this world, . He never tired of his search after that transcendental and supernatural secret of the Absolute and he did not recognize that the great secret of the transcendental, the miracle of the metaphysical, is that it does not exist".
 

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Just a reminder that while the Judgement of History is a confirmable, objective fact, the foundations of that judgement are a coalescence of opinions to form a cluster, though a large one. "We all say so, so it must be true". If the opinions of the cluster define what is good, great, profound--provide the criteria for evaluation, then so be it. But don't call the actual judgement itself anything objective. Mozart is great (only) if you think he is. It is actually more direct and more honest to say "I like Mozart", "I like Mozart more than I like X or Y."
Yes, but why on earth is this 'reminder' needed? If artistic inspiration could be reduced to a fixed set of absolute, objective, permanent rules, it could never be the wondrous thing that it is. I do think it is perfectly OK to say I like Mozart more than X, so long as one acknowledges that such a value judgment inevitably is based on one's own, subjective values. (Edit: The fact that many of us in western society share many of these values does not make them any less subjective. Nor does it demean the prodigious talents and skills of Mozart.) The trouble comes when some try to impose their value judgments on everyone by claiming they are based on objectively verifiable truth. That's when cultural hegemony and ethnocentrism rear their heads.
 

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Yes, but why on earth is this 'reminder' needed? If artistic inspiration could be reduced to a fixed set of absolute, objective, permanent rules, it could never be the wondrous thing that it is. I do think it is perfectly OK to say I like Mozart more than X, so long as one acknowledges that such a value judgment inevitably is based on one's own, subjective values. The trouble comes when some try to impose their value judgments on everyone by claiming they are based on objectively verifiable truth. That's when cultural hegemony and ethnocentrism rear their heads.
I think it's pretty clear that neither of the extreme versions of each side (not that I think anyone really holds these, and the people who did are mostly banned) are either correct nor accurate descriptions of what anyone is saying. It is pretty clearly not the case that there are zero objective frames with which one can possibly evaluate composers, nor is there some kind of way one can prove another's tastes to be bad in a way that holds as objective truth in all possible frames-of-reference (meaning they can be "imposed" on others).
 

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I have sympathy for HK here but I think there's too much focus on attempting to prove history wrong. Elevating the works of composers who have been marginalized by history is laudable, and it's not necessary to try to form some narrative about how we only like Mahler because of Bernstein to do so. Even if this is possibly true in some narrow cases, it's a mischaracterization on how history and artistic inspiration actually works, and this is coming from someone who's generally skeptical of "great man" models of artistic progression.
 
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