Thank you for the kind comment Parla; but I can't think of a good reason why you should be allowed to stand aside having started all this! Anyway, that's the end of my free time for today. Tomorrow is another day, as they say.
Shostakovich was a dedicated communist (how you acquaint that with your illiberal views I don't, and do not wish, to know) but he loathed the stupid authoritarian regime he was forced to work under.
Unfortunately, for him, he had none of JS Mill's understanding that communism could only ever work (and he did not say "effectively" if my memory is correct) under a police state.
So that makes Shostakovich an anachronism, albeit a very enjoyable one.
Discuss (that doesn't mean you, Parla).
Where have I stated that Shostakovich was politically naive or is it that you believe that anybody who is a communist is politically naive and this coming from the 'saurus who thinks the BBC is a hive of liberals?
All artists are politically naive are they? That includes Beethoven who, naively, tore the dedication from his 3rd symphony?
Poor schmuck, believing in freedom as he did.
Although I loathe Wagner's stupid treatise on Jewry I find his music for the most part tedious and this has nothing to do with his politics.
One reason whyI love winding up Wagnerites and 'sauruses!
Toyen, I completely agree with you about Piave's libretto for Traviata. The Dumas is not a play but a novel. I tried to read it once but I don't think I finished it. Doesn't this increase one's admiration for Wagner's Ring libretto. He had to work through (amongst others) the Nibelungenlied, the Voelsung Saga and the Edda sagas. Not only enormous and often turgid but full of inconsistencies too. From this he has built a magnificent libretto on which to build his masterwork.
I tell you I have seen a performance of the play and you tell me it's a novel, as if I am, like your hero, Parla, making it all up or are you, again, at fault in not fully reading, let alone understanding peoples posts?
I've read the Nibelungenlied as well, still have the Penguin edition, and I can reliably inform you that it has nothing to do with Die Ring. Wagner, simply, borrowed the names.
If you don't believe me just go away, for as long as it takes, and read it for yourself.
However, since I know that you will not here's a spoiler: Siegfried dies early on and Hagen is the real hero!
If one person argues that E=mc squared (can't do the subscript), and another disagrees, one can be proved right and the other wrong. That is the distinction. There is knowledge and there is opinion.
Wrong again as experiments have been carried out that prove Einstein was right.
I refer you to the BBC...
I have a theory that you are a figment of the collective imagination and although it may not be true it will do for the moment or until disproven.
Troyen. Bravo you are the master of invective.
I have the Penguin edition of the Nibelungenlied too. Mostly you are right, though there are little sections here and there that Wagner rearranged to suit his text. But much more by far of his libretto is drawn from the Edda Sagas, especially the 'Poetic' Edda, which I have and have read. But my point was that Wagner has transformed intractable material into amasterly libretto. Do you disagree?
As I said I have read Dumas' novel (or much of it). That he adapted it as a play, I had not seen, and many plays I have seen in the theatre have been adaptations of novels, not necessarily by the original author. I really think you like picking a fight. The main aim of my post was to agree with you for goodness sake.
Once again I ask: please the post, not the poster!!
Apropos Hugh's contribution above:
Sorry Troyen but Hugh is right. Einstein's theory of relativity has not been proved to be true: it survives for now because experiments so far have not proved it wrong, just as experiments for many years enabled Newton's theories to survive, though now they have been proved wrong. The reason is simple. A single result that is inconsistent with a theory, if the data are secure, disproves a theory. But no number, however great, of experiments can conclusively prove it right: the next experiment to be done could provide the undoing. It is worth reading Karl Popper on this if you don't want to believe me.
Einstein's theory of relativity has not been proved to be true: it survives for now because experiments so far have not proved it wrong,
The part where it predicts that time is not absolute is proven by the successful operation of GPS satellites etc. but the jury is still out on neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light as described by Marcus Du Sautoy on BBC tv earlier this year.
About the music - my gut feeling is that a philosopher could argue - not prove - that greatness could exist regardless of who is perceiving it, but I look forward to developments here.
'After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music'.
Aldous Huxley brainyquote.com
As long as the GPS system continues Einstein's theory survives, but is not proven!.......
But this is supposed to be a music thread. Time for some music. Einstein on the Beach anyone?
Well, at least we establish that your criticism is not only of Parla but of "many intelligent people". perhaps that might give pause for thought.
The thought that occurred to me as I paused was that the creationists I debate with occasionally also claim to have lots of intelligent people on their side. Do you think issues can be decided by a head-count of how many intelligent supporters we can muster?
You and your new friend "Hugh" - originally known as "Dr Brodsky" and traceable through eight or nine name changes necessitated by offensive or embarrassing outbursts - are correct to introduce the ideas of Karl Popper. His concept of "falsifiability" as a necessary condition for theories in pursuit of knowledge and truth can help us here.
Let's apply it the three scenarios:
One: E = mc2 enabled us in 1977 to send Voyager 1 four billion miles into space and send back an image of the earth from the edge of the known universe. The theory is falsifiable and may indeed be modified in the future, as friend Brodsky states. Right now though it's proving pretty reliable.
Two: The theory of "faith" supported as you say by the existence of "complexity and beauty" is not falsifiable in Popper's terms and probably because of this has led millions to distrust/fear/hate/kill their fellow men and women over a claim to have the best imaginary friend. Nevertheless it is a field of human experience but "beyond" the search for proof of objective reality. It is wholly in the subjective realm (and I am not claiming that because of that it has no value, just that its claims are limited to that realm of experience. It is faith not knowledge as science would define it.)
So, Three: Discuss, using whichever of the above criteria best suits the argument, the claim that Beethoven's Missa Solemnis is a lesser (or greater if you please) work of art than Bach's B minor Mass. I assume that greatness admits of degrees.
I suggest most would believe it a matter of opinion and that that is enough for them, probably because they regard the opinions of their fellow men and women as due the respect they would want for their own.
But then there are the objectivists who claim knowledge to be able to pronounce on such matters. The trouble with that is that objective reality is measurable, quantifiable. So let them show the falsifiable, verifiable, Popper-approved enquiry which supports it.
I suggest that claims to objective greatness in art are impossible to verify - and are thus worthless.
OK Vic, Nice post and very helpful for me. As I promised - tomorrow I'll respond.
Tell me one thing: why is everyone who disagrees with you 'my new friend' or the like? I'm just trying to discuss the subject.
I am lead to believe that a fictional character called Dr Brodsky used to troll this site, it quite unerves Vic who thinks he keeps reappearing in various different guises. He doesn't like his world not to be made up of varifiable scientific facts. Liberal equals BBC square. Are you Dr Brodsky or have you every been a follower of Dr Brodsky?
So was Beethoven not 'naive' to make the dedication in the first place, rather than 'not naive' to tear it up. The truth is usually the simple explanation. Can you be offside from a throw in Trol-one, come on Shosti would answer that straight away.
As I recall it, Dr B had similar struggles with spelling, grammar and punctuation. Perhaps it was a result of a trendy liberal state education?
As I recall it Dr B had english as a second language and did the best he could. But enough of this Brodsky cult and his worshipers.
Yes, someone told me that they thought Dr B was a bit of a cult, but I may have slightly misheard.