Robert Peters responded to Bernard Chasan:
>>In response to Robert Peter's characterization of Liszt (and his music-
>>Robert seems not to be able to distinguish between the composer and the
>I am able to do it but I dont want to, Bernard. For me it is much more
>rewarding to deal with classical music in connection with biography and
Of course it is your privilege to appreciate music any way you want.
However, so far in THIS discussion, your 'rewarding' approach seem to
keep you apart from the enjoyment and appreciation of a few great
composers. It seems to restrict rather than enhance your pleasure.
When you are dealing with biography and history you deal with biased
materials. There is no such thing as totally 'factual' history and
When you listen to music unencumbered by other people's opinions of the
composer and the times, you are free to listen for yourself and relate
directly to the music itself! That is the kind of rewarding experience
that surpasses any pleasure I can imagine from second-hand opinion and
>I am deeply convinced that a composers character (which can be quite
>manifold) and his historical background shows in his music.
You are depending upon the writings of people who may have had their
own axes to grind. How can you be sure that you have an accurate picture
of any person's personality? Books about dead people are like the
legendary seven blind men describing an elephant. Even a great biography
can only make educated guesses about the personality of a long-dead
subject. But the music is alive for centuries.
>Beethoven would have written different music if he had had a loving wife
>and no hearing problems or had lived just fifty years later.
I agree. It is most probable. But then, you would relate differently
to his very different music. I don't understand this point you are
trying so valiantly to make.
It's may be amusing to read biographies and histories, but when it comes
to understanding music, why try to layer it with outside noise, when
music can always explain itself so beautifully as MUSIC? Nothing beats
repeated listening in the process of understanding a piece of music.