Richibi’s Weblog

Just another weblog

Month: January, 2012

“Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog” – Caspar David Friedrich


                                   “Wanderer Above a Sea of Fog”  (1818)  
                                              Caspar David Friedrich

upon further reflection I realized that the painting above had also “the same power, the same clarity and precision” to describe the Romantic Era as the first chord of Beethoven’s “Pathétique” Sonata, it is an equally powerful representation of the spirit of that highly introspective time
the Romantic Epoch championed nature, patriotism on the political heels of the French Revolution – and explorations of the soul, following the latter’s calls to liberty, equality, fraternity, the natural groundwork for what followed, our own period of reverence for human rights
we look with Caspar David Friedrich here upon a nebulous perspective, onto daunting horizons, reflecting, with him, through the painter’s psychological ingenuity and art, upon our own daunting choices, our own murky landscapes, our own obscure and imposing destinies, both physical and philosophical, a profoundly Romantic conception 
it was a time when the heart and its irreverent passions took centre stage, stood, in all its permutations, under the light
please excuse my egregious oversight
and of also the inspired Caspar David Friedrich I’ve begged pardon, expressed my heartfelt, humble compunction, and regret, for a not insignificant slight  


“Somebody That I Used to Know”‏ – Walk off the Earth


this is surely a musical first, and quite probably a musical
last, not so much for the quality of the performance, which
is impressive, but for its daunting logistics
the five instrumentalists here, Walk off the Earth, are
apparently from Burlington, Ontario, they might be called
a quintet though this term usually applies to players playing
an equal number of instruments, they are performing what
I would call a guitar piece, a ballad maybe, for ten hands
can you dig it 






Debussy, “L’isle joyeuse”‏ (“The Joyous Island”)

here’s Daphne doing Debussy, his L’isle joyeuse, from 1904,
a long way from Beethoven, 1798 
had it not been for Beethoven though, making music into a
language, instead of merely a Mozartean, a Haydnesque
aristocratic entertainment, Debussy wouldn’t have even
been possible, where were their “Moonlight Sonata“s, their
Tempest“s, their “Appassionata“s for that matter, their
Hammerklavier“s, these earlier composers, for a weightier,
more abstract, topic, Mozart and Haydn were having courtly,
though ever so inspired, fun, while Beethoven would proclaim,
pronounce, discover and describe, open up to the imagination,
upon these earlier, nevertheless mighty, Classical shoulders,
a whole new, transfigured, world
L’isle joyeuse is not a sonata, it only has one movement,
I would call it a soundscape, were I to define it, Monet,
1840-1926, is written all over it, the same shimmer,
ephemerality, must’ve been the light, not to mention of
course, at his most ethereal, Beethoven

Beethoven‏’s “Pathétique Sonata”, no 8 in C minor, opus 13

the very first chord of Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata,
no 8 in C minor, opus 13, does the same for the
Romantic Era as Descartes’ “I think, therefore I am”
and Shakespeare’s “To be, or not to be” did for the
Age of Reason, it defined its parameters, and set it
on its path, I can think of no other literary equivalent
with anywhere near the same power, the same clarity
and precision as that bold, peremptory statement for
that burgeoning period
Delacroix, too nationalistic, the Romantic poets too
introspective, Beethoven perfect, blending the political
with the personal, the personal with the philosophical,
the philosophical with the transcendental, and the
transcendental finally with the sublime, you come out
of a Beethoven composition not only entertained but
informed, inspired, transformed, he takes you there 
though unknown, to me at least, not yet among the
immortals, Daphne Honma acquits herself quite well
here in Beethoven’s masterpiece, perhaps a little too
plodding at the beginning, I thought, for my taste,
stretching nearly embarrassingly her sforzandos,
those initial arresting statements, Beethoven would
never ‘ve called for that, too much melodramatic
excess would only blur, he knew, the sheen of
unadulterated oracles 
but all is soon set aright, indeed redeemed by what
comes next, Daphne Honma deserves much more
applause than is here her portion
one of Beethoven’s early works, it’s 1798, Beethoven
is 27
psst: an “unadulterated oracle” 

untitled – a friend

a friend wrote, after best wishes for the new year and 
generous comments about my postings, comments I
am of course too modest to include here, Here is a
poem I wrote, probably for my grandchildren.  Hope
it makes you smile.”     
smile, I thought, I think it’s brilliant
what do you think 
psst: it’s untitled, maybe you’d like to come up with 
         something, I thought maybe “Dinner”

I am a fish I have a tail
I swim to the depths I tease a whale 
I dine on bits of this and that 
Blow Champagne bubbles through my hat

I am a fish with a mermaids tail
I thought for a while I loved that whale
But when he tried to dine on me
I found him too salacious

I am a fish with silver scales
A hundred percent better than whales
I spin with a shoal of metallic shine 
Cans of sardines drunk on wine

I look through my  mirror and see the sun
Rip tides dancing I join the fun
I travel knots till the sun goes  in
Silhouettes only the light is dim
Below the waves in a stormy sea 
I’m safe with an octopus having tea
He changes colour looking at me

I am a fish with enormous eyes
A bit short sighted but never mind
I see the colours of coral reefs
Colours quite beyond belief
Hermit crabs and tidal drifts
Seaweed gardens Neptune’s gift

I was a fish with a silver sheen
I dreamed of all I could have been
Ceto’s daughter Poseidon’s Queen
I shone in the moonlight luminesque
I bit at sunbeams I did my best
But like that mermaid on the rock
I really should have taken stock
I never dreamed I never wished 
To be a filet on a dish.  
                                  a friend