Listening to the ‘Lacrymosa’ of the Verdi Requiem, we enjoy our grief.
On the question of authenticity in the performance of classical music:
If you concentrate on the past, you can only achieve a reconstruction; if you concentrate on the present, betrayals. The choice can therefore only be between two falsifications.
Ancient tragedy became of special importance to him [Nietzsche] for a very brief moment under the spell of Wagner. As he wrote in the letter to Wagner to accompany the presentation copy of The Birth of Tragedy (2 January 1872), the object of the book was to show that Wagner’s art was ‘eternally in the right’. To put it bluntly, Nietzsche found tragedy especially interesting for as long as he thought it a form of the self-evidently most important and inherently significant cultural phenomenon there was - music - and he thought tragedy was essentially music to a large extent because Wagner said so. Wagner, in turn, said so because this was his way of asserting the superiority of his own music-drama as music over the purely instrumental music of Beethoven and others. To make the construction work, Nietzsche needed the highly implausible thesis that the highest form of music must transform itself into sung words if it is to remain humanly tolerable.
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