Saturday, April 22, 2006

<< # St. Blog's Parish ? >>


Sorry, I've been a bit absent this week. Entirely absent, I mean. But on the other hand, I've also been busy - specifically, with a job, which is nice. It's just a temp position however, and the hunt for a real job continues. This one, alas, will not even last long by temp standards.

I've also gone and got hooked on Agatha Christie mysteries. Very fun.

Also picked up Mendelssohn addiction. To think that that Aldous Huxley compared him unfavourably with Chopin, speaking of "the weaker Mendelssohn and worse Schumann" - I won't defend Schumann, but as far as Mendelssohn goes, it's one of those remarks that annoy like something stuck in the teeth, by being so thoroughly and exactly wrong. Chopin had fire or passion or whatever you like, but strength was exactly what he lacked. His music is one long flinch - the rhythm, the harmony, the phrasing, they are all one long dodge of the obvious and straightforward. And worse yet, strength was exactly what Mendelssohn possessed - for a strong artist is direct. You might say that there is a kind of subtlety that does not contradict strength (though the crude think otherwise) but rather compliments it - and another sort of twisty, roundabout quality that goes by the same name "subtlety", but is in this case the invariable companion of weakness. Chopin suffered from the latter; Mendelssohn certainly not.

In any case, he had great powers of invention, though little originality. I mean that he was neither an innovator, nor possessed of a very individual touch - unlike say, Brahms - but he had terrific facility at what he did. Perhaps this is why he is rather underrated.