'1939'에 해당되는 글 1건

  1. 2015.09.20 Rachmaninoff's reply to Liebling

Rachmaninoff's reply to Liebling

Cribs 2015.09.20 00:00

I feel like a ghost wandering in a world grown alien. I cannot cast out the old way of writing, and I cannot acquire the new. I have made intense effort to feel the musical manner of today, but it will not come to me. Unlike Madame Butterfly with her quick religious conversion, I cannot cast out my musical gods in a moment and bend the knee to new ones. Even with the disaster of living through what has befallen the Russia where I spent my happiest years, yet I always feel that my own music and my reactions to all music, remained spiritually the same, unendingly obedient in trying to create beauty. . . .

The new kind of music seems to come, not from the heart, but from the head. Its composers think rather than feel. They have not the capacity to make their works "exult," as Hans von Bülow called it. They meditate, protest, analyze, reason, calculate, and brood—but they do not exult. It may be that they compose in the spirit of the times; but it may be, too, that the spirit of the times does not call for expression in music. If that is the case, rather than compile music that is thought but not felt, composers should remain silent and leave contemporary expression to those authors and playwrights who are masters of the factual and literal, and do not concern themselves with soul states.

I hope that with these thoughts I have answered your question regarding my opinion of what is called modern music. Why modern in this case? It grows old almost as soon as born, for it comes into being contaminated with dry rot.

Is it necessary to add that I do not mind telling you all this confidentially as a friend, but that I should not in any circumstances like you to publish it—at least, not while I am alive, for I should not enjoy having some of the "modernists" rap me over the fingers, as I need them for my piano playing. It is not politic for me even to have written to you as I have. I mostly keep my opinions to myself, and in consequence I am generally regarded as a silent man. So be it. In silence lies safety.

—Sergei Rachmaninoff: A Lifetime in Music

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