The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Artists on Artists #2
The Present Day Composer #66

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Gustav Mahler (1860-1911)

"His music is so close to my heart. I feel attuned to it. A melancholy, a nostalgia for childhood, for innocence. The attempt to recover life as it used to be when everything is so protected, so untouched, so fresh, what you can never become again. I understand his complexity, I love even his weaknesses, and perhaps some of them are my own."
-- Leonard Bernstein


Biomusicologist said...

Nice picture of Gustav.

Too bad you had to clutter it up with that comment from the famously plagiaristic "composer" and pathetically awful conductor Lennie B. Puke.

Tom Sutpen said...

Lemme guess.

Harold Schonberg, right??

swac said...


I hardly know 'er!

(I am SO weak.)

Fred said...

Say what you will about Maestro Bernstein, but if it weren't for him, would we have the term "Radical Chic"? (And on a more personal note, would I enjoy classical music as much as I do without having had the pleasure of attending his afternoon concerts for children back in the early seventies?).