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One may associate "Aviary" of the Carnival of Animals with the freedom of flight (or nothing at all), which Brahms symphony or other works can conjure, but why ignore the actual flappings, or bird seeds for the imaginative friends, where those others works may not be able to?
'Birds Seeds', I interpret this comment about Brahms to be hyperbole but correct me if I'm wrong. The notion of a bird in space is an effective one and lends itself to more abstract possibilities, i.e. Brancusi's 'Bird in Space'. Is this 'Bird in Space' a bird in flight? My thought is that it must be in flight for it to be in space but my interpretation is a personal choice and not everyone will agree.
Brahms is certainly eligible for the same level of subjectivity given that that he was a Modern composer as well as a Romantic composer. Ralph Vaughan-Williams' 'The Lark Ascending' is certainly a more literal description by title than a Brahms Symphony but is it more literal in terms of musical content? What if neither 'The Lark Ascending', The Brahms Symphonies nor the 'Bird in Space' were accompanied by a descriptive title?
What if ‘A Bird in Space’ were sitting on a display in a museum somewhere while ‘The Lark Ascending’ was being played. My guess would be that the attending concert/museum goers would draw a connection aesthetically however coincidentally given these two works were never intended to be incorporated within the same context. And I would even say that the same situation would be possible if the Brahms Clarinet Sonata were being played instead of the Vaughan-Williams. The power of metaphor may be as delicate or assertive as it needs to be.
If Brahms had indicated that his symphony has a connection to a place, event, or object etc., I should make an effort to respect that, even though nothing is suggested in the title.
Schubert 9 is another work that I find connections next to nothing. Yes it's a great work, but a mysterious one.
A symphony, etc... which is so formal that creative associations would appear presumptuous....
That of course happens but I'm generally overworked and uninspired by then. And if your curious, my work isn't within the realm of conceptual art but it's rather formal in its own right.
One example where a descriptive title is given to a piece and I fale to hear an association is 'Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Faun.' I hear the afternoon fine but I don't exactly envision a horned goat man anywhere in the work. It is a stunning piece however!
Yes goofy the title can have many layers of meaning, but it does set our sights. (Ears, so to speak).
I do not find such boundaries lessens the appreciation. On the contrary, Wagner's motifs of (usually) specific associations and their transformations actually adds to the power of music.
"Such boundaries" might not "lessen the appreciation" and, probably, may add something more, but, through their nature (boundaries), they confine (they guide) our free approach to the immense aspects...of music and its multifold power.
tjh and Parla, I believe both statements to be true. This elevates the decision making process, even with a fixed piano or a box of crayons. However the inate nature of creative problem solving contains a mutitude of levels or we would still be stuck in the middle ages.
I'm not sure why it is not worthwhile to "confine" if it can "add something", but be that as it may - If you insist on an "immense" approach, how really "free" are you?
A wanderer in a vast landscape, like a mind open to all images, may appear to be free, but he may not have the freedom to be confined in a recital hall and enjoy the Wanderer Fantasy with the (confined) mental image of a wanderer.
By refusing a narrow interpretation, you may actually be limiting yourself.
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