The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Heav'nly Musick

On occasion, I write brief pieces on classical music, usually individual composers. I believe I have already mentioned on this blog my notion of divine music or music that approaches divinity. It is a quality I find in the most powerful classical music. Mozart, for example, though he exhibits many admirable qualities, lacks this particular one. Beethoven has it, and Handel approaches it with his more mature choral pieces. Another noteworthy example is Strauss's Thus Spake Zarathustra, otherwise known as the 2001 theme.
I was reminded to write this piece by a work I listened to last night, which I had not heard in some time: Saint-Saens's Organ Concerto no. 3 (Maestoso movement, if I'm not mistaken). Particularly the first minute or so of this movement contains this divine quality, one which temporarily at least diminishes the gap between the heavens and earth (excuse me for being poetic, but I'm allowed it once in a while).

On the literary front, I spent this reading week doing nothing other than, well, reading. I am preparing for a presentation I will be having in just under two weeks' time on Dryden's MacFlecknoe OR Absalom and Achitophel. I've done quite a bit of research on it (background, etc), but am having trouble coming up with an original argument (as far as I can tell, no one else has had an original about MacFlecknoe during the past 25 years, so how I'm supposed to is beyond me). This is one of the things I dislike about grad school and leads me to believe, as several older PhDs have mentioned, that I have finally grown weary of course(work), which apparently is not uncommon. I like both my profs, so it's definitely not them.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

classical music for sissies

it doenst make you more smart

why u write about somehting so insignificant to most peepel?

3:06 PM  
Blogger Pious Labours said...

I won't even reply to your idiotic comment, but have chosen to leave it here so that everyone can see how ignorant, dumb, and illiterate you are.

Oh, BTW, please direct me to your blog so that you may enlighten me!

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

u dress like old man

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

heh...Hulk need purple pants (God bless the internet and all the tools it harbors)...seriously though, on the subject of Mozart and divine music I tend to agree with you (I tend to respond to his work as really well crafted but often lacking in genuine feeling), but his Requiem Mass is a rare exemption that I've found deeply moving, perhaps even more so than Verdi's.

Jamie

8:39 PM  
Blogger Pious Labours said...

Yes Jamie, I agree: Mozart's Requiem is one of his exceptions to the rule. I wish he wrote more music like it. It's certainly one of my favourite pieces by him.

10:40 PM  

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