Tuesday, April 6, 2010

It is common knowledge that music and the spiritual are closely bound. I observe the connection to be inherent in the act of perceiving tone, apart from and not in reference to any literal or specifically contextual sense. That is why a non-religious composer can compose incredibly convincing religious music. What comes to mind is Shostakovich's E minor Piano Trio.

Getting too literal about the quality of sacredness is like getting too sentimental. Sentiment has nothing to do with it.

Tonight I am going to hear the performance of the last work by another non-religious composer, Bartok. Written when he knew he was dying the second movement's tempo marking includes the word "religioso," a word he had never previously used. I have already begun thinking about it.