Christopher Webber wrote:
>If anyone can point to a single bar of his music and prove it exhibits
>the quality of "vanity" I'll eat my personal wardrobe of hats.
What was the origin of the notion..."art trancends the meaning of its
And then, was it not Stravinsky who said something like, "music expresses
nothing, it expresses itself."
For me, there are many compositions that, if not displaying an inclination
towards vanity, tend to be self indulgent. I have often found, for
example, places in the music of Harris where he gets into a certain
gesture and then dwells on it...I wonder why he did not move to a different
idea or expand on the idea. I am reminded of the pastoral section of
the Third Symphony...a substantive portion of which is usually cut in
Then on the other hand, there was Rachmaninoff who, due to his self-critical
nature...for me, far too much so for the good of his own music, would
unmercifully cut his own music. I wonder why I find the cut in the
Harris Third to make sense whereas I find the cuts taken in the Rachmaninoff
Second Symphony...the version recorded by Sokoloff, with cuts supposedly
approved by Rachmaninoff, to be inappropriate. (I know, who am I to
question the composer).