Sunday, November 29, 2009
Anyway, I've been having a very right brain few days. This, somehow, precluded blogging.
It all started a few days ago when I was about to post but then made the mistake of listening to Spem in Alium. This always has the same double effect. First, it makes me wonder if any of the music written in the next 450 years was worth the trouble. This feeling can last for several days. Secondly, it always sounds different to the point where I frequently have to check if I've put on the right track. This is puzzling because the work, though a 40-part motet, is actually quite simple. I can't explain this but it may be something to do with the way Spem seems to just happen rather than start and stop. It is also the strongest argument for religious belief I have ever heard, stronger even than Bach.
Then I made the further mistake of reading Geoffrey Hill's The Triumph of Love. This is England now. Not much more needs to be said.
Finally, after reading that essay of Stanley Cavell, I watched some Fred Astaire movies. The solo number in Top Hat which ends with him miming the execution of the entire male chorus line is a modernist masterpiece. Like many of Astaire dances it starts and ends with a walk, making it clear that his art is an eruption into life. Dance is exalted walking.
That and pesky work is why I haven't been able to blog.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 10:21 am