Tuesday, January 22, 2013

800 Words: Evan and Hauptmann Rinderherz discuss the Berlin Philharmonic (part 3)

Evan: So you realize that that list I gave you of the best current conductors is worthless.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Gott sei dank! It was a chamber of horrors!

Evan: That’s a little extreme.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Why have you come back to the side of light?

Evan: Because that list was just a list of general practitioners. In order to make greater music, you need to have specialists who understand the composer on a deep level and take the necessary risks to create true understanding.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: So you admit that our world is diseased and requires the greatness of poettonesoundconsolation to lift us to a better!

Evan: No. I think the world is a hard place, and music helps us through it.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Ah! So you do admit it!

Evan: Alright. Sure. I admit that poettone... is that even a word in German? … is helpful.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: ein Sieg fur die Musik!

Evan: But you should understand the reason I did this. The conductors I named are, fundamentally, safe conductors who take no risks. At their best, they combine amazing energy and passion with intellectual rigor. But they take relatively few risks, because they understand that a risk is a risk because it’s usually not successful.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Oh nein. I worry again that you do not understand...

Evan: Maybe not, but I think the real glories of today’s performances of orchestral music are to be found elsewhere.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: I’m very afraid to ask where they are?

Evan: Well, let me think...what performances by living and active performers completely changed my understanding of the piece and made me love music even more...hmm... (Herr Hauptmann grows ever more open-mouthed at the list) … Harnoncourt's late Mozart Symphonies, Marc Minkowski’s Messiah, Gardiner’s St. John Passion, Harnoncourt’s Magnificat, Paul McCreesh’s Creation, Rene Jacobs’s Zauberflote, James Levine’s Marriage of Figaro, Gardiner’s Don Giovanni, Paavo Jarvi's Eroica, Thomas Fey’s Pastoral Symphony, Thielemann's Beethoven 7, Blomstedt’s Beethoven 9, Gardiner’s Missa Solemnis, Abbado’s Barber of Seville, Dudamel’s Symphonie Fantastique, Masur’s Italian Symphony,

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Stop! Please Stop!

Evan: I can keep going for another hour at least.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: You have betrayed the greatness of music for the dirtiness and disease of our base, cruel worldtime! .

Evan: Why do you take these things so seriously?

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Because music is the food of the soul! Without your soul, you enter the horror of the unclean. You may even start liking Italian Opera!

Evan: I do like Italian Opera!

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Grauel!!!

Evan: Suit yourself.

Hauptmann: The worst part is, you do understand the soul of music. In this list great treasures of the spirit there are.

Evan: I’m not even sure the soul exists. But you’re right that music is a serious business and should be taken seriously. But come on man, you sound like you’d burn musical heretics if given half the chance. And do you even believe in God?

Hauptmann Rinderherz: I believe in music!

Evan: Touching... really... but if you believe in music, why do you hate so much of it?

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Because music is a temple, and we must keep it clean for worship.

Evan: And Wilhelm Furtwangler is it’s prophet?

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Ja! Furtwangler ist der Gottheit!

Evan: Do you have any idea how ridiculous you’d sound to anybody but me?

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Let the outside world dissolve in mist! For us there would yet remain our holy art!

Evan: Holy German art?

Hauptmann Rinderherz: It is not my fault that no other kultur cares for the mysterium tremendum! Every other kultur is obsessed with sex and dirtiness!

Evan: Excessive Russian literature lovers say the same about Russia, Italian art lovers say the same about Italy, Greeks say the same about drama and philosophy, Franch...everything lovers say the same thing about France. No doubt, the time’s coming when Americans begin to say the same thing because of the holy temple of American cinema.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Everything you mention is a glory of the world... except die Franzosich...

Evan: And everything else is besmirched by our diseased world?

Hauptmann Rinderherz:Fast alles.

Evan: Here,... why don’t I put something on for you.

(Evan goes to his laptop, puts on Duke Ellington's Come Sunday)

Evan: Now can you honestly say that this is not food for the spirit?

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Ach! Listen to that scheissetext!

Evan: And Schubert never set a bad text? And Wagner’s own texts aren’t crap?

Hauptmann Rinderherz: And those Falschung Debussy harmonies!

Evan: These harmonies are not Debussy at all! I tried to arrange this for chorus, I couldn’t figure out some of those chords and I have the perfect pitch to pick every note out of a hexachord by ear.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Has anyone ever told you you’re a f*cking ausfall?...

Evan: And who cares about who influenced the harmonies?! It’s what he does with them that matters. And this is some of the most spiritually consoling music since Bach!

Hauptmann Rinderherz: You are deluded. This is Americanischen popularkultur Mull!

Evan: This is not Mull! Here, listen to this... (puts on Old Man River by Jerome Kern)

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Oh Freud, nicht dieser tone!

Evan: The lyrics are truly great by any standard, and so is the song.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: How can you pretend that scheisse is fit for anything but Schweine?

Evan: Because this the opposite of scheisse. It’s a glory of the world.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Next you’ll tell me that Bob Dylan is great!

Evan: He’s not my favorite, but I do love a few of his songs.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: All his music sounds the same!

Evan: So does Mozart’s!

Hauptmann Rinderherz: You are disgusting.

Evan: So’s Parsifal, but I let you listen to it when you want.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: I shall not be treated in this manner!

Evan: You want me to stop insulting you?

Hauptmann Rinderherz: I want you to stop insulting music!

Evan: You should hear what other music lovers say. Many of them believe Dylan is the Beethoven of American music.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: What do I care what they think?

Evan: You’d probably be happier if you did.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: I do not seek to be happy! I seek to be uplifted!

Evan: Alright, well try another one. Here’s A Change is Gonna Come from Otis Redding, the American Schubert. It wasn’t written by him but this is my favorite performance.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: How can you think to compare to Schubert when this man did not even write this unbedeutend lied.

Evan: Redding wrote many great songs of his own. But there’s nothing unbedeutend about this song, it’s about the civil rights struggle, and you could even see this as being a song about spiritual hope, or even as a response to the Ode to Joy!

Hauptmann Rinderherz: What do Americans know about spiritual hope or joy?

Evan: Most of them know a lot more than you do.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: I know the joy of a better world than this one! What is the terribleness of this world compared to the greatness we bring from true music?

Evan: Well you’re listening to true music right now! But you don’t get it because your mind is closed.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: My mind is clear!

Evan: Your mind is farcockt.

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Farcockt you!

Evan: Alright, this is getting too heated. Let me try one or two last pieces of music. (puts on Find the Cost of Freedom by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young)

Hauptmann Rinderherz: A decent volkslied. Nothing more.

Evan: Alright. Try this one... (puts on Hooked on a Feeling by David Hasselhoff)

Hauptmann Rinderherz: Oh. Ja. Ja. Das so gut ist! Listen to that beat! Like geschlechtsverker!

Evan: Oy gevalt. I thought you might have this problem...

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