"Yoel L. Arbeitman" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>...there was much talk on the radio this past week as the anniversary
>day of Toscanini's playing Barber's Adagio as a stand-alone came.
>For some reason this caught the attention of a number on NPR programs
>(I guess that they have nothing better to discuss).
>One person pointed out that, whereas this has become our national
>funeral music, it was considered by some well-acquainted with it
>as "music to make love by". Indeed one choreographer obtained
>Barber's blessing to use it as a ballet segment for such activities
This note reminded me of the experience I had some months ago when I saw
a video of Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle...the one with Silvia Sass. It
seemed to me that every emotion-thought of the characters was portrayed
in the music. I wondered if the cast tried to portray every phrase of
the music or if my mind seemed to make the music fit. I don't know if
I am explaining myself very well, but I wondered if what I thought the
emotion should be was what the music was telling me it was.
For me, it is a bit like discussing the ways in which someone can react
to an incident and what they are trying to express when they do react.
Someone will voice a possible reaction and I will think to myself, I
never thought that action would bring forth that response, yet once it
is explained to me how the person came to that response, it becomes
logical within that context.
In short, I can understand how the Barber can be seen as a romantic
expression as well as a somber statement. I also think about the use
of that music in the movie Elephant Man. In that context it seemed to
almost be making a statement about human dignity. As to what the composer
intended it to mean, I do not know. Is there not a notion that art will
transcend the intent of the one who creates it?
Perhaps the meaning is specific...beauty...and that one can find beauty
in love and in death...and in human dignity.