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Books or poems that equate to musical pieces


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Showing 1-17 of 17 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 21 Aug 2012 14:32:53 BDT
JayJayDee says:
MacDoom first came up with Bruckner 6 being the musical manifestation of Tolkein's Hobbitt.

Geoffrey has proposed -
Beethoven's 9th = 'Farewell my Lovely' - Raymond Chandler
Vaughan Williams 5th Symphony = 'Phineas Finn' - Anthony Trollope
Mozart Piano Concerto No 25 in C = 'Wuthering Heights' - Emily Bronte
Wagner - Tristan und Isolde = 'My Idea of Fun' - Will Self

I propose Mahler 6 for Jude the Obscure

Doesn't have to be scene by scene perfect otherwise the absurdity of this notion will become too apparent.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Aug 2012 14:52:20 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 13 Oct 2012 19:29:11 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Aug 2012 15:06:36 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 13 Oct 2012 19:29:12 BDT]

Posted on 21 Aug 2012 15:10:23 BDT
My suggestions were facetious because, as I have said, I have no imagination in this respect.

Two books where music plays a large part are Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus - the main character is composer - and Aldous Huxley's Point Counterpoint - one of the characters is obsessed with the 'Heiliger Dankgesang' movement of Beethoven's A minor String Quartet Op 132.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Aug 2012 15:12:37 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 13 Oct 2012 19:29:12 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Aug 2012 16:19:22 BDT
Last edited by the author on 21 Aug 2012 17:16:30 BDT
Edgar Self says:
Geoffrey -- Aldous Huxley and Thomas Mann knew each other, at least met a few times, in California. Mann's "Doktor Faustus" is one of the most music-obsessed novels in literature, and relates directly to Alfred Schnittke's "Faust Cantata". Schnittke loved the book and found it intolerable that the imaginary music it described didn't exist, so he decided to help flesh it out.

"Kreutzer Sonata" also corresponds to Tolstoy's short-storey of that name.

Thomas Mann consciously wrote his novella "Tonio Kroeger" in sonata-allegro form, suggesting many correspondences. It must drive Charles Rosen mad.

Posted on 21 Aug 2012 17:38:30 BDT
Still with Thomas Mann, his novella, The Blood of the Walsungs - a cautionary tale about the unhealthy effect of Wagner's music and spoiling your children, not to mention the folly of naming them after characters in opera.

Posted on 21 Aug 2012 18:16:39 BDT
Roasted Swan says:
Re: naming your children; this year's best joke at the Edinburgh fringe:
"You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks."
No.2 was:
"Last night me and my girlfriend watched three DVDs back to back. Luckily I was the one facing the telly. "

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Aug 2012 19:37:10 BDT
gille liath says:
I've always associated RVW's Tallis Fantasia with LotR.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Aug 2012 19:47:26 BDT
Gordon D says:
There is a curious circular path through Tolstoy's "The Kreutzer Sonata". It took its title from Beethoven's violin sonata #9. In turn, Janįček's string quartet #1 was named "The Kreutzer Sonata" after the Tolstoy novel/novella.

In reply to an earlier post on 21 Aug 2012 22:29:12 BDT
K. Beazley says:
A couple of years ago the ACO performed both Beethoven's "Kreutzer" Sonata & Janįček's "The Kreutzer Sonata", both in arrangements for strings by Richard Tognetti, interspersed with the reading of "Kreutzer vs Kreutzer", an original script inspired by Tolstoy's novella, by the playwright Laura Wade, & performed by Wade's husband, the actor Samuel West & the Australian stage actress Robin McLeavy.

In each half of the concert the story is played out in full from the opposite perspectives, both finishing suddenly in darkness just before the fateful blow. As Wade wrote in the programme notes:

"The Tolstoy is provocative: a single, uncontested voice (the murderer Pozdnyshev) discusses the dangers of women, sex and music; his wife and her lover (the violinist Trukachevsky) are never really given the chance to defend themselves....

"Did she or didn't she? Did the infidelity take place, or was everything the product of Pozdnyshev's jealous imagination? Some may think Pozdnyshev is right to trust his instincts, that there's no smoke without fire. Others might be incensed that he can't understand the difference between a musical partnership and a sexual one.

"What did Janįček think? He was a man in love - and with a married woman careful of her honour. We know from his letters that he sympathised with Pozdnyshev's wife. Perhaps he saw himself in the character of the musician and considered them both victims of circumstance.

"These scenes propose two different versions of what happened - one, as imagined by Pozdnyshev/Tolstoy, the other, as seen through Janįček's eyes. Two parallel universes, the product of different choices made by the same two people. The truth may lie at either pole - or at any point in between."

Brilliant concept. Brilliant concert.

Posted on 21 Aug 2012 23:58:23 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Aug 2012 20:25:38 BDT
Edgar Self says:
Interesting about Australia Chamber Orchestra's program and recitation built around the "Kreutzer Sonata" of Tolstoy and Beethoven.

Tolstoy loved music and responded to it emotionally. His music visitors included Wanda Landowska with her harpsichord, Rachmaninoff, and his friend Feodor Chaliapin, who sang Russian songs that Count Leo diodn't wholly enjoy. He even asked them if there was any interest in such things.

Another musical friend of Tolstoy's was the young Alexander Goldenweiser, later head of Moscow Conservatory and one of the most prominent Russian piano teachers, along with Igumnov and Heinrich Neuhaus.

Goldenweiser was also a friend of Scriabin, Rachmaninoff, and Medtner. The first two dedicated works to him, and he played duets with Rachmaninoff.
Goldenweiser was chess partner, secretary, and musical confidante of Tolstoy for several years. He announced Tolstoy's death to the world from the railway station to which the great man had fled, and wrote three books about Tolstoy.

Goldenweiser's students included Dimitri Paperno and Tatiana Nikolayeva. He composed a beautiful piano trio in memory of Rachmaninoff,, which he recorded with Kogan and Rostroipovich; and other piano works recorded by him and others.

Everything is just so inte(r-related and interesting).

Posted on 22 Aug 2012 12:39:48 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 13 Oct 2012 19:29:23 BDT]

Posted on 22 Aug 2012 16:19:09 BDT
Last edited by the author on 22 Aug 2012 20:24:43 BDT
Edgar Self says:
Tchitch/Vaslav -- I had considered going to San Francisco to hear Nikolayeva play Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues, Op. 87. again, after seeing her play them here in two Sunday afternoons. I'm very glad now I did not. As you say, she was stricken while playing the 16th and longest fugue, the B-flat minor, which she managed to finish and then make her way off-stage. She died a week later in the Southern Pacific Hospital.

I forgot another of Tolstoy's musical connexions. The composer Sophie-Carmen Eckhardt-Grammate was almost certainly his natural daughter. Her mother was a governess in Tolstoy's household. Eckhardt-Grammate wrote six iano sonatas, one of them for right-hand alone, like the second of Alkan's "Trois grandes etudes". All of these are recorded by Marc-Andre Hamelin.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Aug 2012 16:33:24 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 13 Oct 2012 19:29:25 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Aug 2012 17:02:44 BDT
Edgar Self says:
T. -- I did peek inside Pynchon's covers at the library yesterday and, not seeing a Vaslav, was vastly relieved. It's definitely easier to type than your other nom de webbe or the opus number of Shostakovich's 24 Preludes and Fugues, which I've corrected. I always hope no-one answers within five minutes of posting because I'll be editing the more appalling errors and typos.

Does anyone else hear audacious hints of the old Tsarist anthem in the fourth Prelude of Op. 87? It would be like Shostakovich to sneak it in, although dangerous. Evidently it got by the goons at the Composers Union.

Nikolayeva recorded Opp. 87 complete three times, and filmed it once. There are selections from it on her Orfeo live recital. I'd be happy with any of these.

I went to her second recital with Polish friends who gave her flowers t the end. Leaning to them, she asked what they would like to hear. They said Bach, so the first of four Bach encores was a contrapunctus from "Art of Fugue". I talked to her afterward in German as she sipped fodka from a paper cup and rolled about in a silver-blue aluminium-foil gown that hid the wheels. No-one knew her striking first encore from the previous recital, "Au Couvent" from Borodin's "Petite Suite" with convent bells and a grand climax.

A few weeks later she played her U.S. orchestral debut with Neemi Jarvi and the Detroit SO. in Rachmaninoff's fourth concerto. I was just quick enough to tape it from the FM broadcast.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Aug 2012 19:01:22 BDT
[Deleted by Amazon on 13 Oct 2012 19:29:25 BDT]
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Participants:  8
Total posts:  17
Initial post:  21 Aug 2012
Latest post:  22 Aug 2012

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