Only connect Only connect! […] Live in fragments no longer. E. M. Forster (1879- 1970), Howards End (1910)
Some Contexts of Mahlers Music Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) –Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55) irrationalist triumvirate –Gustav Klimt (1862–1918)
Schopenhauer 4-fold Root of the Principle (1813, 1847) cause and effect premise and conclusion motive and action space and time –Man bound to the principle like Ixion's wheel
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) chief expounder of pessimism and of the irrational impulses of life arising from the will; influenced Existentialism and Freudian psychology Art liberates us from the world of appearance cause and effect… –and reveals the ideas behind
The World as Will and Idea (1819) Music reveals the "Will" behind the ideas –a copy of the will itself –the romantic art, highest
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (1844–1900) known for denouncing religion, for espousing doctrine of perfectibility of man, and for glorification of the superman
The Birth of Tragedy out of the Spirit of Music (1872) argues that Greek tragedy arose out of the fusion of Apollonian (measured restraint) and Dionysian (ecstasy) elements. Socratic rationalism and optimism spelled the death of Greek tragedy, only the spirit of Wagner's music brought about its rebirth.
Apollonian: equivalent of what Schopenhauer called the individual phenomenonthe particular chance, error, or man, the individuality of which is merely a mask for the essential truth of reality which it conceals. Dionysian: sense of universal reality, which, according to Schopenhauer, is experienced after the loss of individual egoism. The Dionysian ecstasy, as defined by Nietzsche, is experienced not as individuals but as the one living being, with whose creative joy we are united.
ad astra per aspera to the stars by hard ways –Nietzsche: all that comes into being must be ready for a sorrowful end; we are forced to look into the terrors of the individual existenceyet we are not to become rigid with fear… –Beethoven: joy through suffering Mahler –Symphony No. 2 Resurrection, FinaleFinale –Symphony No. 3, IV–VIVV –Symphony No. 4, FinaleFinale
Søren Kierkegaard (1813–55) religious philosopher and critic of rationalism, regarded as the founder of existentialist philosophy. He is famous for his critique of systematic rational philosophy, on the grounds that actual life cannot be contained within an abstract conceptual system. He intended to clear the ground for an adequate consideration of faith and, accordingly, of religion specifically Christianity.
Stages on Life's Way (1845) three stages of existence: –the aesthetic stage is the one in which one lives for the pleasure of the moment (cf. Don Giovanni); –the ethical stage is the one based on the stability and continuity of life in work and in matrimony; –the religious stage is the one characterized by faith, which is always a "dreadful certaintyi.e., a dread that becomes certain of a hidden relationship with God
Response to Kierkegaard aesthetic stageindulgence in this world –despair ethical stagejustification by work –guilt religious stagejustification by grace –suffering (Weltschmerz) aesthetic stageliberation from this world –Camus: man's revolt against the world –Tillich: courage to be
Weltschmerz the prevailing mood of melancholy and pessimism associated with the poets of the Romantic era that arose from their refusal or inability to adjust to those realities of the world that they saw as destructive of their right to subjectivity and personal freedoma phenomenon thought to typify Romanticism.
Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) Ceiling paintings commissioned (but finally rejected and the drafts destroyed in 1945!) by the University of Vienna for the new hall, representing 3 of the 4 faculties
Schubert, An die Musik D.547 (1817)An die Musik Du holde Kunst, in wieviel grauen Stunden, Wo mich des Lebens wilder Kreis umstrickt, Hast du mein Herz zu warmer Lieb entzunden, Hast mich in eine beßre Welt entrückt! Oft hat ein Seufzer, deiner Harf' entflossen, Ein süßer, heiliger Akkord von dir Den Himmel beßrer Zeiten mir erschlossen, Du holde Kunst, ich danke dir dafür! Oh sacred art, how oft in hours blighted, While into life's untamed cycle hurled, Hast thou my heart to warm love reignited To transport me into a better world! So often has a sigh from thy harp drifted, A chord from thee, holy and full of bliss, A glimpse of better times from heaven lifted, Thou sacred art, my thanks to thee for this.
Um Mitternacht Um Mitternacht (1901) Um Mitternacht hab' ich gewacht und aufgeblickt zum Himmel; kein Stern vom Sterngewimmel hat mir gelacht um Mitternacht.
Um Mitternacht hab' ich gedacht hinaus in dunkle Schranken. Es hat kein Lichtgedanken mir Trost gebracht um Mitternacht. Um Mitternacht nahm ich in acht die Schläge meines Herzens. Ein einz'ger Puls des Schmerzes war angefacht um Mitternacht.
Um Mitternacht kämpft' ich die Schlacht, o Menschheit, deiner Leiden; nicht konnt' ich sie entscheiden mit meiner Macht um Mitternacht. Um Mitternacht hab' ich die Macht in deine Hand gegeben! Herr! Über Tod und Leben du hältst die Wacht um Mitternacht!
Kathleen Ferrier (1912–53) recorded Mahler in Vienna, 1952