Alien Invasion or Chicken Paprikash?

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Rognvald
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Alien Invasion or Chicken Paprikash?

Post by Rognvald » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:33 pm

During dinner tonight, I was listening to the Bach Lute Suites BMV 995-998 performed on eight-string guitar by Paul Galbraith. And, it occurred to me that Bach must have certainly been an alien since there has been no composer since his death that could compare, in my opinion, to his unique and prodigious talent. Yes, we have Beethoven, Haydyn, Wagner, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Schuman, Mozart and Chopin who have enriched Music and the World with their incredible artistry and they are not intended to be discounted nor diminished by my remarks but it has been my experience among my diverse group of musician friends that wherever they started on the road to discovery, they always wind up with Bach. Am I a sad and delusional person or was it the Paprikash? Your comments are invited. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Lovemyguitar
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Re: Alien Invasion or Chicken Paprikash?

Post by Lovemyguitar » Sat Oct 07, 2017 2:43 am

No, Bach wasn't an alien -- just an extraordinary human being! Such individuals, though rare, do exist. I actually prefer Beethoven (who is #1 in my books), but, of course, that is not to diminish nor discount Bach in any way. Happily, I don't have to choose between them, since I can enjoy both to my heart's content (and Bach, unlike Beethoven, fits so very nicely on my beloved classical guitar!). I am endlessly delighted that such people (not just Bach and Beethoven, of course, but so many others) have lived and have created such immensely beautiful music so that I, and anyone else so disposed, can be transported to other realms through their gifts (or, we can simply have this realm greatly enriched!).

There is nothing to argue about here, no "X is better than Y" discussion is necessary -- let's just rejoice in the fact that we are fortunate to live in the same world as these incredible geniuses! Enjoy your chicken and your Bach! Cheers! :casque:

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Alien Invasion or Chicken Paprikash?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:43 pm

My first teacher used to get dopey about Mozart having been so awesome as a small child, and then whisper conspiratorially "He was here before!". I know you weren't being that serious, but I find it sad that humans seem compelled to find silly ways to account for the wonderful things humans can achieve.
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Rognvald
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Re: Alien Invasion or Chicken Paprikash?

Post by Rognvald » Sat Oct 07, 2017 1:26 pm

Stephen Kenyon wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 12:43 pm
My first teacher used to get dopey about Mozart having been so awesome as a small child, and then whisper conspiratorially "He was here before!". I know you weren't being that serious, but I find it sad that humans seem compelled to find silly ways to account for the wonderful things humans can achieve.
Yes, Stephen, I agree and therefore, my attempt at humor. However, when we look at our contemporary society worldwide and ask "Who is creating Music of this caliber today?" we are sadly aware that the answer, in my opinion, is no one. And, we must ask, as students of History, why do some periods produce a prodigious amount of creativity while others, like our own, are so barren and banal? There is certainly a cultural aspect as well as there must be a decidedly genetic component. Perhaps in our quest to become a technologically driven species where computers, robots, auto-driven vehicles and virtual reality are imminent to existence, we will lose our uniquely human connection to the world around us and then, perhaps, the direct experience that is the basis for all great Art. Only time will tell. And, also . . . kudos to LoveMyGuitar for your excellent response. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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Re: Alien Invasion or Chicken Paprikash?

Post by Lovemyguitar » Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:54 pm

As to whether any of our contemporaries are composing music that can stand alongside the greats of the past, I am reminded of Brahms, who often stated his belief that it would be 50 years before his music was fully appreciated (and, he was actually quite accurate!). As you know, others amongst the major composers of the past were also not as widely appreciated (nor understood, for the musical geniuses they were) until future generations. I also recall reading a fairly recent interview with Julian Bream (who seems to have a fairly deep understanding of and insight into music), in which he commented that the new music being composed now will be more greatly understood and appreciated by the next generation(s). I have no explanation for this phenomenon, but there does seem to be some historical precedent for the notion expressed by Brahms and Bream.

I try not to be pessimistic about my fellow humans (which is terribly difficult at times), but there are always a few who follow their own paths, who manage to overcome, ignore, rise above, or otherwise avoid falling completely into the meaninglessness of the mundane that seems to pervade so much of life (not just now, but presumably always), and maintain that uniquely human connection to the world. We're out there (I do consider myself to be one of those people), it is a choice that is available to anyone willing and able to recognise it, and I think (or at least, I hope) that there will always be those who follow such paths, keeping the human spirit alive in its most wonderful manifestations.

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Stephen Kenyon
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Re: Alien Invasion or Chicken Paprikash?

Post by Stephen Kenyon » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:51 am

Lovemyguitar wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:54 pm
As to whether any of our contemporaries are composing music that can stand alongside the greats of the past, I am reminded of Brahms, who often stated his belief that it would be 50 years before his music was fully appreciated (and, he was actually quite accurate!)....
And it was over 70 years for Bach himself!
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PeteJ
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Re: Alien Invasion or Chicken Paprikash?

Post by PeteJ » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:46 pm

Well, JSB gained a reputation, paid the mortgage and brought up the kids so was appreciated locally in his day.

I also find JSB unique among composers, He benefited from working within a well-defined style but even so his work seems super-human. It's an interesting thing that when writing in the style of Bach it is possible to mimic him quite closely for extended periods but this is not the case with Mozart. This may be a clue as to how the former was able to maintain such a high rate of production. All the same, if he turned out to be an alien it would explain a lot.

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Re: Alien Invasion or Chicken Paprikash?

Post by Rasputin » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:29 pm

Lovemyguitar wrote:
Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:54 pm
As to whether any of our contemporaries are composing music that can stand alongside the greats of the past, I am reminded of Brahms, who often stated his belief that it would be 50 years before his music was fully appreciated (and, he was actually quite accurate!). As you know, others amongst the major composers of the past were also not as widely appreciated (nor understood, for the musical geniuses they were) until future generations. I also recall reading a fairly recent interview with Julian Bream (who seems to have a fairly deep understanding of and insight into music), in which he commented that the new music being composed now will be more greatly understood and appreciated by the next generation(s). I have no explanation for this phenomenon, but there does seem to be some historical precedent for the notion expressed by Brahms and Bream.
True, but of course there are plenty of people whose output is underwhelming at the time and is still underwhelming 50 or 70 years later. Are there many pieces or composers from the middle of the last century whose work didn't make a huge impression at the time but is now appreciated? I can't say I can think of anyone. I wouldn't claim to be at all knowledgeable about that era, but then again that may be because even now, there aren't that many people championing its serious music.

Personally, I would think that an alien would have a very hard time with human music, and would probably be less good at fathering children than Bach evidently was.

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Re: Alien Invasion or Chicken Paprikash?

Post by Lovemyguitar » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:26 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:29 pm
True, but of course there are plenty of people whose output is underwhelming at the time and is still underwhelming 50 or 70 years later. Are there many pieces or composers from the middle of the last century whose work didn't make a huge impression at the time but is now appreciated? I can't say I can think of anyone. I wouldn't claim to be at all knowledgeable about that era, but then again that may be because even now, there aren't that many people championing its serious music.
Indeed, the great ones are rare. There are also many composers from past eras who were quite popular in their own time, but are all but forgotten now because, for whatever reasons, their music did not endure. I don't pretend to have answers to why this is -- music, in some ways, is one of the beautiful mysteries of life.

As for more recent times, music in the 20th century (and the 21st) became so disparate, so many people doing so many different things, so many influences due to increased globalisation and communication, that there was (and is) little musical cohesiveness (compared to previous centuries). That may make it more difficult for the cream to rise to the top, in such a crowded and convoluted playing field (sorry for the mixed metaphors!), and how many people would notice, anyway, when their attention is being diverted in so many different directions?

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