[lit-ideas] Re: Why are the greatest composers all German?

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2006 22:52:10 -0400

ck: Most of all, though, it comes down to who is doing the canonical choosing.

In this case, musicians. (Toward the end of his life, Shenckmann sent Beethoven a copy of Handel's Concerto Grossi, to which Beethoven replied that Handel was "the only composer left from whom I could learn something.")

The Valve discussion interested me because it was an attempt to separate taste from formal depth. I mean, I don't much care for Brahms' German Requiem, but love Prokofiev's short Visions Fugitives piano pieces: that's taste, about which there is no disputing as I'm sure we all agree.

The guy was simply asking why formal depth in art tended to peak in certain times and certain geographical regions. There was no attempt to legislate taste. And in the commentary below his text, he received a lot of counterarguments from Valve members. The guy offered something better than the old Jacob Burckhardt idea of corrupt and violent times producing vibrant art (Medicis = Leonardo).

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