Saturday, June 06, 2015

Commonplace Entry

Speaking About Music

I firmly believe that it is impossible to speak about music.  There have been many definitions of music which have, in fact, merely described a subjective reaction to it.  The only really precise and objective definition for me is by Ferrucio Busoni, the great Italian pianist and composer, who said that music is sonorous air.  It says everything and nothing at the same time.  Schopenhauer, on the other hand, saw in music an idea of the world.  In music, as in life, it is really only possible to speak about our own reactions and perceptions.  If I attempt to speak about music, it is because the impossible has always attracted me more than the difficult.  If there is some sense behind this, to attempt the impossible is, by definition, an adventure and gives me a feeling of activity, which I find highly attractive.  It has the added advantage that failure is not only tolerated but expected.

from Music Quickens Time by Daniel Barenboim

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