Main Menu

Tip jar

If you like CaB and wish to support it, you can use PayPal or KoFi. Thank you, and I hope you continue to enjoy the site - Neil.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Support CaB

Recent

Welcome to Cook'd and Bomb'd. Please login or sign up.

February 23, 2024, 02:56:27 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Who killed classical music?

Started by Retinend, January 22, 2014, 12:04:34 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Retinend

How is it not a working analogy?

NoSleep

It's thread lore that:

Reduced to correcting people's grammar/spelling = lost argument.

NoSleep

Quote from: Sam on January 24, 2014, 10:44:19 PM
No, I'd argue more or less the opposite. The bigger picture, in fact, is that the innovation is superficial and it's precisely the tension between consevative/progressive from where key works of modernism arise. Yes, there's innovation a-go-go but in direct engagement with the previous tradition. The Futurists were hysterical about the break from the past but they fizzled out; someone like Schoenberg who will always be in the history books for changing the course of music, wrestled constantly with tradition. One of the key 'innovations' was total motivic coherence, where all of the ideas of the piece stem from a single cell. You can find this in Bach and Beethoven, nothing new.

This is a crucial point. Sconeburg meticulously built upon the foundations of the tradition. You also find this approach to 20th Century development of music in Paul Hindemith's The Craft Of Musical Composition Vol 1[nb]A valuable mine of information on the building blocks of music. A practical book that I have found valuable both as a musician and as a recording engineer.[/nb].

Retinend

I'm not correcting anyone's spelling, NoSleep.

Retinend

Quote from: Smeraldina Rima on January 24, 2014, 11:57:54 PM
I don't know if it was what you would consider appreciation but there was a significant attempt at an appreciation of what African sculpture or generally "primitive art" represented and in valuing poorly understood "representations" by altering aesthetic judgement away from the classical.

Georges Bataille and Carl Einstein (preferable to Alfred 'the great, the great and the other great' Einstein to me at least) wrote a lot about this in their Documents periodical

You don't need to read Bataille, it's a basic fact that modernism was a rejection of older values within the elite. They were aware of it at the time and it's always been known. This long line of tension within the educated elite ultimately tracks way back to the original interpretation of renaissance humanism over scholasticism: are we, North-Europeans, latter-day greeks and romans, or not?  The humanists said resoundingly "YES," and faith in this bedrock of classicalism has gradually declined.  The 20th Century break with classical humanism had been brewing since the debates between the intellectual factions "Ancients" and "Moderns" in the time of Jonathan Swift (if you read The Battle of the Books today, you can interpret it as prescient image of 20th century intellectual atomisation).

All these currents were part of a wider rejection of classical education and classical values. That was what Picasso was doing by embracing african sculpture (no doubt it made him more sympathetic to Abyssinia, there not no sympathy generated). But I say that it didn't involve real cross-cultural sympathy because ultimately the trend for tribal sculpture was a euro-centric, iconoclastic ostentation. Just as Rousseau was only illustrating and not actually desiring to transform Europe back to a pre-historic "state of nature," Picasso was also just illustrating his embracing of the irrational and ugly, when his education had told him to embrace classical beauty and rationality.

The people who rejected the classical education had to know it intimately. We're deep into bourgeois historical territory here. This stuff didn't TOUCH the Leonard Basts of this world who were trying to keep up with contemporary developments in the early 20th century. The art academies and music conservatories and literary circles of Europe were facing the same crisis of faith, which is why it makes sense to talk about modernism as a single entity.

Not sure if this is even a disagreement, but I've already written it now.




QuoteI think you were alone in being concerned about some of the things to do with Naziism and raised a lot of defences from no attacks. Although I don't think I was as unclear as what followed suggests I am partly responsible for that shit turn in the thread. Apart from I think justifiably finding the documentary offensive, the point was really that the kicking against first wave serialism so hard is relevant in the more trenchant second wave. Exploring that would have nothing to do with the private value judgements of Nazis. Similar irrelevance of your purely thinking it bad here to anybody else's purely thinking it good.

Being aware of the general platitudes abroad in literature about Modernist themes when it comes to Entartete Kunst, and the freedom with which people will frequently attempt to indulge themselves for liking something the Nazis didn't, I took your original links and subsequent use of them (in order to point out the show's omissions) as an move towards this old chestnut. Perhaps too rashly. Johnny Yesno did, however, then take up this stance.

Commentary on commentary now, but I think it's hardly irrelevent for me to counter the characterization of Schönberg's (mature) music as too radical for timid ears with a more fair approximation of, as I joked, me and Adolf. But that brings us to:



Quote...But that they only found it bad, plain bad art, as you justifiably do, but dubiously claim on their behalf, and not also repulsive is untenable.   Actually it may be possible to hold this view in an obscure way and think they only went about presenting it as repulsive, but I think  ...this is too singularly focussed on the important practical economic situation and discerning only their shrewd political tactics ....

Firstly, the only argument re the motivation for the Nazi cultural revolution was not "economic" but that an entire cultural scene that flourished under the liberal bourgeois rule of the Weimar Republic had to be wholesale chucked out. Secondly, and following from this, I argued there was no place to wax lyrical about how afraid the Nazis were of radical isms in the art world... it's self-serving and ahistorical, though common enough a belief.

I think here the operative word is "bad" though I see now that I misspoke when I put this with "not repulsive" - projecting my own feelings there. However what I was trying to break apart was any significance for the Nazis finding x repulsive: they found the entire Weimar Republic repulsive. And here I do think it's relevant to point out that Georg Groß, on the opposite side, also believed the same. Which takes us to


QuoteThe Georg Grosz example is a good way of trying to show why I find the economic explanation unsatisfactory and insensitive to draw on.

Not an economic explanation, but one of political philosophy.

QuoteYou identify a subject of his art as the heart of what the Nazi culture cleansing was truly against (not completely inaccurately but it seems a wayward thing to observe)

Not wayward at all. If you cannot understand that the left and right were united against the liberal bourgeois culture of the Weimar Republic, you don't understand the history. Look at that Grosz painting - at the centre of the picture you see a skeleton superimposed over the cramped masses, drinking himself to death. Above it, you see a cab being driven airily floating above the horrors on the ground. This is as left wing as you can get.

The last link has died so I'll post it again, dramatically with img tags:



Quote, when in effect they were equally against his aesthetic, and him personally too. He was part of the degenerate cull (I don't say this as if you don't already know), his life was destroyed and he ended up a broken man making traditional landscapes that the Nazis would have approved of, saying what was frozen was thawed and now he could paint properly in the USA.

What's your point?

QuoteNow there is a terribly nervous part of me that thinks you might prefer his later artistic style, or find the thawing was in relation to Weimar republic decadence only and good for him.

Clearly his work went downhill. When he was furious he was a genius. There's no contradiction here since I don't sympathize with either the left, the right or the bourgeois rulers at the time of the Weimar republic.

QuoteThe show was clearly not about defining only bad art and the title wasn't a hyperbolic relation to its content. Here's one of the exhibits:

It's Schmidt-Rotluff and Modigliani placed alongside deformity photos from a Race and Art book from 1928. I can understand that you want to stress a propaganda element but to what purpose I don't see. It became so pervasive an identification in the culture that it's irrelevant whether the associations arose from a mere dislike of bad art or as a sincere grouping of degenerate style and degenerate Germany.

No disagreement. You're simply reiterating that the Nazis lumped together all of the culture of the previous regime into a scapegoat, twinning it with quite general imagery of "disease" (NoSleep likes to use this imagery too, though I wouldn't call him a Nazi) which was actually my own point.


QuoteIt could be interesting if you wanted to set out what you would really value about an integral popular classical culture that communicated with a large audience. I think this is the point of the thread

...

I can't even comprehend what a popular current musical tradition that is still closer to Mozart or Debussy would sound like or what people who wanted to go to see a kind of science fiction modern classical composer who isn't that sexy guy that plays Chopin on the culture show but is instead important would be like.

That's not interesting to anyone. Personally I'd like more composers that sounded like, to name some at random, Villa Lobos, John Adams, Honegger, Ravel, Gershwin, Stravinsky. If you want you can imagine with me what a contemporary scene that sounds like that and then dream along with me, but there's no facts in this realm.

QuoteAs hinted at by Howj Begg, radio 3 is currently following a course in line with the mood of the radio 4 documentary, suspiciously so.

I know nothing about this trend and I don't care a jot what radio 3 does with it's programming.

NoSleep

Quote from: Retinend on January 25, 2014, 10:26:14 AMNoSleep likes to use this imagery too

"Ailment" would have been a more accurate word in hindsight. Lack of patience and hanging around with the wrong (immature) people ("students" you called them).

Schönberg and Schoenberg are (I think) perfectly interchangable whereas Fauré and Faure would be pronounced differently (well, they wouldn't have to be but you get the idea). I don't see a problem with Schönberg, unless there was some king of linguistic horror preference[nb]
Thinking of The Nearness of Graves by Paul Celan

Und duldest du, Mutter, wie einst, ach, daheim,
Den leisen, den deutschen, den schmerzlichen Reim?

Or Paul Chelàn as I've often got myself into a muddle trying to say.
[/nb], which I don't think there was. If you're in the habit of umlauts it's not really pretentious.

NoSleep

Quote from: Retinend on January 25, 2014, 10:26:14 AM
I know nothing about this trend and I don't care a jot what radio 3 does with it's programming.

Really? The most important classical music radio station in the UK? They have been whittling away at the programming for decades; it used to be quite an exciting listen in the 80s and even through the dwindling 90s. They have severely pruned its range over time, seemingly to compete with the awful Classic ("all your favourite bits") FM.

Retinend

#158
@Smeraldina Okay. I myself think spelling his name Faure without the accent would be a perfectly fine anglicization that, though CD booklets might be careful to avoid, would be acceptable on an informal messaging board. I'm not trying to out-do anyone by using umlauts. I just have them here and I know how to use them, so I do. On the other hand, if I need to write "Bohuslav Martinů" I write Martinu, because I don't have Czech diacritics nor know how to use them.

edit: what is a "linguistic horror preference"?

Retinend

#159
Quote from: NoSleep on January 25, 2014, 10:57:34 AM
Really? The most important classical music radio station in the UK? They have been whittling away at the programming for decades; it used to be quite an exciting listen in the 80s and even through the dwindling 90s. They have severely pruned its range over time, seemingly to compete with the awful Classic ("all your favourite bits") FM.

I didn't grow up with the radio on in my house, and if I ever have it on it'll be R4 or R6. That said, I do know that Classic FM is the pits, thank you very much. edit: oh, I thought you were saying it played only my favourite bits.

Petey Pate

Quote from: NoSleep on January 25, 2014, 10:57:34 AM
Classic ("all your favourite bits") FM.

My mate had this on recently during a long car journey. It is exactly as you describe, and there's virtually no effort by the DJs to put what they're playing into any kind of context. You won't learn anything about the composers or why their work was commissioned. It's the epitome of the kind of "dumification" Sam was talking about.

I have no idea who their intended audience is either. People who left their "best of classical music" CD at home?

Anyway this thread has been a great read with a lot of interesting posts, though I've lost track of what the argument is even about at this point.

Sam

It's just a competition of who knows the most shit. I'm seriously impressed with how well read Retinend is, but less so with the conclusions from it all, although that's subjective preference. It's a blast reading all this, though.

Talulah, really!

Quote from: NoSleep on January 25, 2014, 10:57:34 AM
Really?

Here!

QuoteThe most important classical music radio station in the UK? They have been whittling away at the programming for decades; it used to be quite an exciting listen in the 80s and even through the dwindling 90s. They have severely pruned its range over time, seemingly to compete with the awful Classic ("all your favourite bits") FM.

Have they though? Here's a schedule from 30 years ago.



The web page has the entire Radio Times for that week.

http://www.pointlessmuseum.com/museum/blog/index.php/2011/02/08/radio-times-12-18-november-1983/

Comparing the schedule to the week just finished and there isn't actually all that much difference in what they are playing, they certainly weren't devoting huge hours of air time to the second Viennese school and its followers on weekday afternoons.

Amusingly enough if you look at the letters page you can see D.A.Young of London W8 complaining that Radio 3 is playing Jazz!

Retinend, I thought you were looking for areas to better explain the relationship between primitive interest and abstractions - and where it might have been most meaningful or not - I wasn't thinking of it as a case in an argument that modernism was a rejection of older values within an elite.

The idea that you wonder whether we might actually agree about, that artists such as Picasso were 'just illustrating his embracing of the irrational and ugly, when his education had told him to embrace classical beauty and rationality' is probably the most important. I would agree up to that it was the tension between the two that characterises a lot of the art.

In fact a lot of the time, we disagree on a point of me hedging my bets more, not seeing the arguments as complete - just educated illustration of an embrace of the irrational or just the political philosophy motivating the Nazi's reaction to art. Also not being as inclined to describe the big historical tendencies.

I realise I made a mistake and mischaracterised what you said by calling it a response to an economic situation. I think the upshot might be that we are even further apart.

Towards the end, I'm either incapable of making myself clear or you're being forgivably casual or annoyingly wilful.

'If you cannot understand that the left and right were united against the liberal bourgeois culture of the Weimar Republic then you do not understand the history.' My understanding of the history is inferior but good enough to tell me that I agree with the point that they both were equally unsatisfied with it (united against it may give a wrong impression to me both for the kneejerk reason and because I think there was more in the art of this time that can be swallowed up). I have agreed (to that extent) all the way through this and got exhausted at not being able to express why there remains a more significant aesthetic attack and that I don't see why that common feeling could explain or mitigate any of this. Or, as that sounds a bit rhetorically aggressive, what else there is there you're discerning.

The part where you ask what my point is, it's that I think the treatment of these arts and artists ultimately mattered more than a mutual political antipathy, that the art consisted of much more than one readable element of the pictorial content in Grobz' painting, and that the thread of unity is hollow in trying to understand what then happened to the arts, immediately and later down the line when the Darmstadt school is insinuated to be Communisty.

I have less need to make that point since you only misspoke about the bad and not repulsive judgement of the Nazis.

Those images are more significant than the description of scapegoat. Partly that they come from the Race and Art book, an at least decade long culturally presented scapegoat project, and partly because of the consequences. I am uncomfortable that that is what you choose to emphasise at exclusion of other concerns, and still not clear why. Pointing this out may reach you as a sentimental or illogical sidetrack. I find it difficult to understand why you appear satisfied with a more mapped out originary answer (often one which I find correct but overexerted) and to an extent that appears to write off the cultural and personal impact. Almost certainly a lot of this is only a division of historical and aesthetic inclination, the extent to which I might take aesthetic criteria seriously that it can seem naive, unexplanatory or even motivated by amusement, the extent to which you might place more confidence in historical stories which can seem naive too. They might be two wills we won't reason together.

Radio 3, despite going down the pan (there have been several specific cuts lately Talulah), is doing it slowly enough that it is still worth listening to, and I'm pretty surprised it's not a station you listen to, Retinend. Hear and Now still does a good job of following new classical music and pretty much all the rest engages with the tradition. Be prepared for a lot of the New Statesmen theme tune though. I think on Through the Night, they leave out a lot of newer music because it would be more expensive to get the rights? Or maybe because it's less prominent in the repertoire. There is occasionally something more recent there but it's rare. Regarding Classic FM not informing about anything, that seems one of the complaints about R3 as the announcement mentioned something about replacing the documentaries with comment throughout the day, from the musicians before they play, that sort of thing.

Do you like Louis Andriessen - Bad attention span Beethoven?:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1nBRJTnFOHA

Do you have any favourite contemporary classical composers - not just Retinend - that might not have been mentioned in this thread? Either in touch with the tradition or inhumanly offensive.

Quote from: Sam on January 25, 2014, 12:16:07 PM
It's just a competition of who knows the most shit.

I don't think it has to be. Not if we can spread the non-assertive abstract culture into the hearts of billions.

NoSleep

Quote from: Talulah, really! on January 25, 2014, 12:18:39 PM
Here!

Have they though? Here's a schedule from 30 years ago.



The web page has the entire Radio Times for that week.

http://www.pointlessmuseum.com/museum/blog/index.php/2011/02/08/radio-times-12-18-november-1983/

Comparing the schedule to the week just finished and there isn't actually all that much difference in what they are playing, they certainly weren't devoting huge hours of air time to the second Viennese school and its followers on weekday afternoons.

Amusingly enough if you look at the letters page you can see D.A.Young of London W8 complaining that Radio 3 is playing Jazz!

That's simply a less interesting day. Each week would have highlights.

There would be series (with single episodes on a particular night of the week) like "The Electronic Voice" (which I would love to have copies of now, lots of fantastic music concrete and more from the 40's through to the 60's; my introduction to "Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul" for example). Also regular slots for jazz and, later, Mixing It. Lectures from Stockhausen, some amazing recordings of composers playing their own pieces on a highly sophisticated Player Piano (a young Stravinsky playing the Firebird Suite, for example) that meant you were hearing vintage performances in pristine modern recording form. A major series on the life and work of John Zorn (I have this in mp3 form, thankfully), Derek Bailey live, with the Ruins, an early performance of Steve Reich's Desert Music (by the same ensemble that performs on the album), Bernard Haitink and the Concertgebouw putting to shame their own studio performance, in the same period, of Shostakovich 8, Chick Corea on solo piano for an entire concert, McCoy Tyner and ensemble for a similar lengthy concert... those are just from memory. Let's not forget regular slots for Ivor Cutler either.

Quote from: Retinend on January 25, 2014, 10:58:37 AM
edit: what is a "linguistic horror preference"?

A decision to do with pain of a language associated with historic catastrophe. But I will never write it like that again.

Sam

QuotePersonally I'd like more composers that sounded like, to name some at random, Villa Lobos, John Adams, Honegger, Ravel, Gershwin, Stravinsky. If you want you can imagine with me what a contemporary scene that sounds like that and then dream along with me, but there's no facts in this realm.

How well do you know Oliver Knussen? He's combined a lot of the best aspects of Ravel (orchestration, child's eye view), Stravinsky (rhythmic vitality) and Webern (distillation and brevity), making music which isn't derivative yet manages to be accessible and fairly tonal. Worth getting hold of the disc with The Whitman Setttings and Horn Concerto (Flourish with Fireworks and Organa No 1 showcase everything that's wonderful about him).

In terms of Gershwin you could say that by combing jazz and classical there are people like Kapustin who follow on from that (Steven Osborne and Marc-Andre Hamelin have recorded his piano music).

Again, Birtwistle is massively indebted to Stravinsky (particularly the Symphonies of Wind Instruments). I suspect you may not like his large-scale pieces like Earth Dances but you may get on with a smaller piece like Nenia: The Death of Orpheus.

Anyway, all this stuff is there to find if you want, so no need to dream, unless what you mean is there being a scene where everybody likes this stuff, which we.'be established is unlikely.

NoSleep

Scanning through the rest of the week's programming in that old Radio Times I've found some things I would have tuned in for: three days in and the highlights are some Messiaen Organ works and Phil Miller (ex-Hatfield and the North).

You might just be saying what you'd like to listen to from there but they would still schedule those things, the latter maybe only on Late Junction. Not every week, but it wouldn't be unusual. They had Messiaen Organ works in St Paul's cathedral a couple of weeks ago.

NoSleep

I still haven't seen what else is on. I think there were regular slots on Wednesdays or Thursdays where they would present some more interesting stuff as series (like The Electronic Voice).

But even things like Choral Evensong were of interest and that doesn't go the places it used to.

NoSleep

Bloody hell! The USSR Symphony Orchestra performing Shostakovich 10 on Wednesday night; missed that! (Although I have Melodiya LPs of them and it). That would have been taped for sure.

NoSleep

Without knowing anything about the composers or the pieces, I would have given Music In Our Time on Thursday night a listen.

Johnny Yesno

Quote from: Retinend on January 25, 2014, 10:26:14 AM
Being aware of the general platitudes abroad in literature about Modernist themes when it comes to Entartete Kunst, and the freedom with which people will frequently attempt to indulge themselves for liking something the Nazis didn't, I took your original links and subsequent use of them (in order to point out the show's omissions) as an move towards this old chestnut. Perhaps too rashly. Johnny Yesno did, however, then take up this stance.

You don't like being labelled a conservative, yet you wheel out an argument much loved by conservatives - 'They're just doing it on purpose, the hipsters!'

QuoteFirstly, the only argument re the motivation for the Nazi cultural revolution was not "economic" but that an entire cultural scene that flourished under the liberal bourgeois rule of the Weimar Republic had to be wholesale chucked out. Secondly, and following from this, I argued there was no place to wax lyrical about how afraid the Nazis were of radical isms in the art world... it's self-serving and ahistorical, though common enough a belief.

But the radical-isms were symbolic of the culture of the Weimar Republic. Destroying that kind of symbolism is like flag-burning. That people aren't literally afraid of flags is trivially true.

QuoteNot wayward at all. If you cannot understand that the left and right were united against the liberal bourgeois culture of the Weimar Republic, you don't understand the history. Look at that Grosz painting - at the centre of the picture you see a skeleton superimposed over the cramped masses, drinking himself to death. Above it, you see a cab being driven airily floating above the horrors on the ground. This is as left wing as you can get.

As Smeraldina said, 'united' could well be too strong a characterisation. If you haven't noticed that there are some Jew-hating, homophobic traditionalists on the left you haven't been paying attention.

QuoteThat's not interesting to anyone. Personally I'd like more composers that sounded like, to name some at random, Villa Lobos, John Adams, Honegger, Ravel, Gershwin, Stravinsky. If you want you can imagine with me what a contemporary scene that sounds like that and then dream along with me, but there's no facts in this realm.

Sounds shit. You're welcome to it.

Retinend

#174
Quote from: Smeraldina Rima on January 25, 2014, 12:24:52 PM
I wasn't thinking of it as a case in an argument that modernism was a rejection of older values within an elite.

Since you said that such highbrow trinkets "altered aesthetic judgement away from the classical," it was I suppose one of those points that just cropped up in your manner of writing.

Quotewe disagree on a point of me hedging my bets more, not seeing the arguments as complete - just educated illustration of an embrace of the irrational or just the political philosophy motivating the Nazi's reaction to art.

The most glaring truth about art history is that no one starved for never having been to a gallery. The same for literary history: no one ever lost their house because they never read a novel. This is something people say glibly as if that automatically makes politics more important than art. This is philistinism. Unfortunately this philistinism is re-imported back into the arts and you get arguments that sell art off the back off history and politics.

I'll borrow from a book review I did, of a book on Max Ernst under an important imprint, Thames and Hudson, I think, and by an author who specialized in Surrealism. Under this picture:



this "conclusion" was drawn:  "not to be denied is the fact that the Barbarians are conclusions drawn from political events, and thus point forward to the Nazi invasion of France."

This painting was from 1927!

Such is the free and easy use of history in order to defend value in art. I think it's philistinism. The glaring truths should just be accepted, and some other reason why art is worthwhile should be argued for.


Quote'If you cannot understand that the left and right were united against the liberal bourgeois culture of the Weimar Republic then you do not understand the history.'   My understanding of the history is inferior but good enough to tell me that I agree with the point that they both were equally unsatisfied with it (united against it may give a wrong impression to me both for the kneejerk reason and because I think there was more in the art of this time that can be swallowed up).

Really? You've never heard the platitude that far right and far left have more in common than the centre? One thing to understand is that "parties" were a new thing in politics, since they only came into being after the franchise was expanded outside of the society of gentlemen. The political parties of right and left were both fighting to appropriate an industrial state that had grown into being without mass voting, without political parties and without public services.

Students were the biggest supporters of the Nazis, because from their point of view they were rejecting liberal bourgeois paternalism, the stab-in-the-back and depression they had led Germany into, and embracing self-determinism. The Left had much the same ends in mind. Obvious differences, but the same goal.

Differences: they didn't think the war should have gone on so didn't emphasize the "stab in the back" myth. They weren't racist, they were more concerned with spreading wealth from the koffers of the bourgeois, and officially controlling industry than the Nazis, but in perspective they were both united in their hatred of Weimar and what it stood for.



QuoteI have agreed (to that extent) all the way through this and got exhausted at not being able to express why there remains a more significant aesthetic attack and that I don't see why that common feeling could explain or mitigate any of this.

Can't parse this, I'm sorry. "aesthetic attack"? "that common feeling"?



QuoteThe part where you ask what my point is, it's that I think the treatment of these arts and artists ultimately mattered more than a mutual political antipathy,

It all "matters."



QuoteI think that the art consisted of much more than one readable element of the pictorial content in Grobz' painting, and that the thread of unity is hollow in trying to understand what then happened to the arts, immediately and later down the line when the Darmstadt school is insinuated to be Communist party.

I'm not sure what "thread of unity" I'm accused of implying. If you mean unity in hatred of bourgeois liberalism, then that hardly bears on Darmstadt, since by the time of Darmstadt the fascists were emphatically wiped out.




QuoteI am uncomfortable that that is what you choose to emphasise [Entartete Kunst as a scapegoat] at exclusion of other concerns, and still not clear why.
...

I find it difficult to understand why you appear satisfied with a more mapped out originary answer

There's no problem here. You correctly said "the show was clearly not about defining only bad art" and I then admitted that I misspoke: the Nazis definitely did find the art and music bad and repulsive.

I can't understand why you're uncomfortable with a "functional" explanation of what the Nazis did to the art world. This is totalitarianism we're talking about. Art should have a function in totalitarianism. The function was to instill a new culture. I think maybe you're getting uncomfortable because I temporarily adopt the locutions of the politics I'm talking about? I don't think art should have a political function. That's philistinism, whether left or right.



QuoteAlmost certainly a lot of this is only a division of historical and aesthetic inclination

Bingo.

Quotethe extent to which I might take aesthetic criteria seriously that it can seem naive, unexplanatory or even motivated by amusement, the extent to which you might place more confidence in historical stories which can seem naive too.

It depends on the question you're asking, whether you bring aesthetic criteria or historical criteria to bear. But asking historical questions about aesthetic criteria is still bringing historical criteria and not aesthetic criteria to bear. To ask whether the aesthetic judgement of the Nazis led them to demonize atonal music and expressionist painting is bringing historical criteria to bear. The answer is almost definitely yes, which we agree on. My point was that it's incorrect that the suppression was driven by fear, in any meaningful sense of the verb "to fear." Which is why I mentioned what the nazis actually feared: their political opponents. Political parties fear other political parties before they fear what sort of music a composer will make.

If the historical stories are naive that's because the stories are naive and a better story which fits the facts better ought to be offered. A naive historical story isn't fixed by bring aesthetic criteria to bear, and it's not clear to me that the sentence "bringing aesthetic criteria to bear on an historical story" even has a meaning.

A question which brings aesthetic criteria to bear would be "how do I describe the beauty of this?" or "why does this piece of music move me?"

Retinend

Quote from: Johnny Yesno on January 25, 2014, 01:38:07 PM
You don't like being labelled a conservative, yet you wheel out an argument much loved by conservatives - 'They're just doing it on purpose, the hipsters!'

Not sure if I actually used that argument. The bit you quoted was about lazy reliance on Entartete Kunst by writers to gleam a oh-so-noble anti-fascist aura to their subject. Even books on Paul Klee do it. Paul frickin' Klee.

Quote from: Johnny Yesno on January 25, 2014, 01:38:07 PM
But the radical-isms were symbolic of the culture of the Weimar Republic. Destroying that kind of symbolism is like flag-burning. That people aren't literally afraid of flags is trivially true.

Are flagburners afraid of flags at some deep level? Ditto for the Nazis and atonalism. "Fear" just doesn't cut it.

Whilst it is true that the Nazis hated and feared radical leftism (this is not a metaphor) it becomes a metaphor when you say that they feared "radicalism." Analysed logically it's not true, because the fascists were a radical right wing party, of course. And to then say that the Nazis feared radical musical styles is again a non-metaphorical claim, which needs some evidence.

QuoteAs Smeraldina said, 'united' could well be too strong a characterisation. If you haven't noticed that there are some Jew-hating, homophobic traditionalists on the left you haven't been paying attention.

No not "united" in the abstract notion. That doesn't mean anything.

And no I'm not saying that the Spartakus League et al. were like Nazis in that there were bad men in both parties.

Johnny Yesno

Quote from: Retinend on January 25, 2014, 02:05:25 PM
I don't think art should have a political function. That's philistinism, whether left or right.

What absolute tosh. Art is about expressing values. How could that ever not be political?

QuoteA question which brings aesthetic criteria to bear would be "how do I describe the beauty of this?" or "why does this piece of music move me?"

Or 'How does it interact with my experience and values?' Or 'Why do I find meaning in this?'

Johnny Yesno

Quote from: Retinend on January 25, 2014, 02:21:25 PM
Are flagburners afraid of flags at some deep level?

You're not paying attention. I said they're not literally afraid of flags. They are afraid of what they symbolise and their power to unite people with similar values.

Retinend

Quote from: Johnny Yesno on January 25, 2014, 02:26:21 PM
You're not paying attention. I said they're not literally afraid of flags. They are afraid of what they symbolise and their power to unite people with similar values.

Yeah you said "not literally" so presumably at the deep level, is what I said, yeah? And right, yes that is what you mean. The deep, symbolic level.

Okay so if someone burns a flag, say some american guy with long hair from the 60s burns an american flag, is he symbolically fearful of that flag's ability to unite people with similar values? Similar values of what?

What if someone burns the same flag in the middle east today? Same fear? Fear of people uniting with values similar to what?

Retinend

Quote from: Johnny Yesno on January 25, 2014, 02:21:55 PM
What absolute tosh. Art is about expressing values. How could that ever not be political?

Political FUNCTION. Of course art might have political value, quality, importance.