Thursday, October 21, 2010

Too much thinking, too little sleeping

Maybe you haven't heard, but the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is on strike. The strike is historic for a number of reasons, and it is the cause of many sleepless nights around my place. I have been working with the library at the DSO since June, and while I am not on strike, the strike is raising some very personal, very touchy issues for me. I'm spending a lot of time thinking about the use of music in the world and why orchestras are important to culture and what it means both economically and spiritually to a city to have an orchestra. More information, from the musicians' perspective, can be found here.

This passage from a book I'm reading for class has sparked a lot of thought today:

"It is with art as with religion: people think too often that all truth, all perfection, is confined to one sect, to one school, and that beyond it there is nothing but error and imperfection. Nature and the spirit that pervades her is too great a theme to be exhausted by one man or school - a theme to which not even the united schools of all arts and all ages can do justice; it is inexhaustible, infinite. Let us be careful that by disregarding any branch of art, however slight, or by disparaging any style, however uncongenial to our individual taste, we may not lose part of the interpretation of that glorious mystery."

-- "On Mendelssohn and Some of His Contemporary Critics" by Friedrich Niecks in Mendelssohn and His World, edited by R. Larry Todd

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