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Hesse

The idea of Haydn being a servant, all be it an influential and famous servant, was something that I found fascinating during the concert on Sunday.

Haydn and Mozart both submitted their genius to the blood-birth authority of the nobility. Beethoven asserted his genius but early in his life he was still attached to a court.

This brought to mind the writings of Herman Hesse.

In his Nobel Prize winning novel, The Glass Bead Game, and in his much earlier novel, Steppenwolf, he asserts that all music written after Beethoven is self serving.

The principal character in The Glass Bead Game is Joseph Knecht. Knecht is German for servant. Knecht is a musician who finds playing the music of early Baroque masters like Scarlatti can be a form of prayer and medition. Both the performer and composer exist to serve music.

In Steppenwolf, the principal character is Harry Haller. In "the hall of magic mirrors", Harry sees Brahms and Wagner both approaching each other from opposite sides of a vast desert. Each composer is leading an enless army of musical notes.

Harry observes that he thought these two composers were opposites but in reality they have the same approach to music. The music serves them. The music is an extension of their egos and exists to further their individual, separate agendas.

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The idea of Haydn being a servant, all be it an influential and famous servant, was something that I found fascinating during the concert on Sunday.

Haydn and Mozart both submitted their genius to the blood-birth authority of the nobility. Beethoven asserted his genius but early in his life he was still attached to a court.

This brought to mind the writings of Herman Hesse.

In his Nobel Prize winning novel, The Glass Bead Game, and in his much earlier novel, Steppenwolf, he asserts that all music written after Beethoven is self serving.

The principal character in The Glass Bead Game is Joseph Knecht. Knecht is German for servant. Knecht is a musician who finds playing the music of early Baroque masters like Scarlatti can be a form of prayer and medition. Both the performer and composer exist to serve music.

In Steppenwolf, the principal character is Harry Haller. In "the hall of magic mirrors", Harry sees Brahms and Wagner both approaching each other from opposite sides of a vast desert. Each composer is leading an enless army of musical notes.

Harry observes that he thought these two composers were opposites but in reality they have the same approach to music. The music serves them. The music is an extension of their egos and exists to further their individual, separate agendas.

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Comments
5

i would love to comment to this...but when i get into a conversation about Hesse i go deep and could talk for hours

may i just say that where Steppenwolf is concerned i'm safer if i just listen to that Band from Canada

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UZ8ruZNqD8

and of course u already know Magister Ludi is my second favorite Hesse book...the first being Narcissus and Goldmund

...what a dichotomy of spirit those 2 represented

much like "Brahms and Wagner both approaching each other from opposite sides of a vast desert. Each composer is leading an enless army of musical notes"

Friedrich Nietzsche's was greatly impress by Hesse's book

and so was i

oh no i'm starting to discuss Hesse...yikes!!!

time to bid this blog a fond farewell Garrett ;-S)

Aug. 28, 2011

I too have Narcissus and Goldmund as my favorite Hesse novel. Although I recently re-read Journey to the East and loved it.

Aug. 28, 2011

"Die Morgenlandfahrt" is a wonderful book and i may read it again...i think Hesse was on a roll at that time with that theme of point/ counterpoint..leave the metaphysical depth of it all then later return to it

he wrote it right after Narcissus and Goldmund

do u read Hesse in German Garrett....with Hesse i wish i could read German

Aug. 28, 2011

I could pronounce it.

Aug. 28, 2011

Wagner opera brat!!! ;-D)

Aug. 29, 2011

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