Tombeaux, Elegies and Threnodies
Monday, April 09, 2012
Sustainability—that’s a thing, right? I mean, generally it applies to like bamboo dinnerware, but the concept seems simple: a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. I totally looked that up (thanks Merriam-webster). So right: I keep getting busier and busier and, as it turns out, the days are not expanding to accommodate my desires. I’ve decided, therefore, that I’d prefer to be with you guys every day for a bit than have this hot and cold Sam and Dianne, one month on and one month off type of thing. Right? That’s totally better. So for these next two weeks, I’ll be with you every weekday from 12 pm - 1 pm. Call it the Nadia Sirota Hour of Power. I hope you join me!
This week we're gonna get pretty meta about death. Nothing brings to relief the joy of life more clearly that loosing a loved one. This is one of the hardest lessons of being human, and, not surprisingly, a rich ground for creative material. If you think about it, the Classical tradition, such as it is, has everything to do with revering the dead. We deify composers posthumously, lauding everything they have created in an ecstatic, ongoing memorial.
In addition to simply memorializing those who were great who are gone, we are going to listen to the memorials that many composers have set to paper regarding their relationships with teachers, collaborators, mentors, family and friends recently passed. We'll hear Schnittke remembering Stravinsky and Stravinsky remembering Dylan Thomas. We'll listen to Berg eulogizing Manon Gropius and Pärt's memorial to Britten.
I am SUCH a fan of these pieces, some of the most effective in the canon. Thinking about all of these wonderful artists who are now gone really helps me to cherish those people who are still alive and creating great works of art. Help me celebrate this week by describing your favorite memorial works in the comments!