Classical music is dying.The fundamental problem is a lack of contemporary emotionally compelling compositions,because listeners get no emotional reward from most contemporary classical music ,orchestras are forced to repeat a small number of compositions from the distant past,and as each year passes the standard repertoire becomes less and less relevant to a contemporary the audience for classical music continues to shrink. traditional music education for composers is part of the problem engendering, snobbery ,elitism and a cold unemotional approach to music composition.l believe that the situation is so bad that only a movement from outside the traditional music institutions (l call this the deinstitutionalization of classical music)can save classical music from oblivion. ps .for more information on this topic go to my website

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  • I think the goal is freedom, but freedom from what, as you say, if there is nothing to be free from?

    The question or better the proposition is self-answering without asking to be answered

    Bob Porter said:

    Yes, but is it freedom IN nothingness, or freedom From nothingness, or freedom because of nothingness. If there is nothing, what is there to be free from?

    I realize that because I hope and I fear, than I am not free. But is freedom (whatever that is, not sure anyone knows) the goal? My goal is living: and not defined by hope or fear or freedom in and of themselves.

  • That's more like his spirit! Probably he has put it in such words already, I don't remember well where but maybe in "Life and Politics of Alexi Zorba".

    Ondib, help.

    Fredrick zinos said:

    In a sense the statement is:

    I have no aspirations, therefore I can not fail. I have no desires and therefore I am never disappointed. I have no ambition and therefore never fall short of an illusory goal.

    I am perfectly happy and content with being who I am, and no more, because the seduction of achievement is absent

  • Thanks for your generous words, Socrates A., and for this interesting discussion.


    The more I look back at the words of Kazantzakis himself, the more I appreciate his complexity, subtlety and the genius which led him on.


    The complete Salvatores Dei can be read here:



    A very extensive compilation of important quotes can be found here:



    Quotes from many works, not just Salvatores Dei.


    I can't agree with Fredrick's interpretation.  Not because it is ill-considered, or overtly "wrong."  Not at all.  It may seem fair, if one reads Kazantzakis somewhat selectively, I think, particularly some of the quotes we have already examined.  But the attitude described is something like quietism, or resignation.  I don't think that is really Kazantzakis' attitude, or that of Dostoevsky and Nietzsche, the two "pre-moderns" who perhaps influence him most.  A wide reading, or simply a reading of the compiled K. quotes will reveal a tension between a desire to "go beyond hope and fear," and also a realization that there is always hope, and always fear cropping up, after one has vanquished one false fear and another false hope.  (As Bob Porter points out.  Hope and fear never vanish entirely, and K. admits that, and tries to cultivate higher and nobler hopes, and dispel new fears that crop up).


    He's not a simple thinker, and because he uses poetry and novels, and writes essays and quasi-manifestoes (in which ideas clash, and in which characters contradict each other) there is a kind of richness to his thought which eschews dogmas, while affirming—in some way—a fire which he calls God often, but which is neither Dostoevsky's Jesus (the man-god), in any dogmatic Christian sense whatsoever, nor the complete rejection of, hatred of , or opposition to God that one encounters in Nietzsche.   There is hatred of orthodoxy, though.  K's interpretations of reality are truly unique and original to himself, especially in the context of contemporary thought on matters concerning human destiny, the nature of divine, and relationship between matter, mind and spirit.  They cannot easily be examined, as if there were in his work, simple and fixed propositions that could be teased out.  


    For instance, the sentence:


    Conquer the last, the greatest temptation of all: Hope.


    That seems like an utter rejection of "hope."


    You offered the quotes that suggest a position beyond hope and fear.


    Yet later, in the same work, he says,


    "I am not alone in my fear, nor alone in my hope, nor alone in my shouting. A tremendous host, an onrush of the Universe fears, hopes, and shouts with me.


    "I am an improvised bridge, and when Someone passes over me, I crumble away behind Him.


    That's not quietism.  Some will say that's Nietzscheanism, the belief expressed in Zarathustra that "man is a bridge to the superman."  Any "neat interpretation" is difficult.


    So I will try humbly to recognize that a great many interpretations of Kazantzakis are possible, and that there are many aspects of his writing that can each be valued, or emphasized, or underemphasized, so that if one looks at larger and larger numbers of works, the picture of the cosmos itself grows larger and larger. 


    James Joyce once said something like, "next to God, Shakespeare created most."  I think other great artists approach this level of creativity, including Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Dickens, Homer, Dante, Milton, Bach, Beethoven, Wagner, Mahler and we could name more.


    Kazantzakis also falls into this category in a way.  The more I learn about him and the more of his works I read, the more I admire him.

    Nikos Kazantzakis' "Askitiki": The Saviors of God

    Here is a picture of some one standing next to the Triangulum Galaxy.  Notice how old it is.  Can we compare this with a picture of a person standing next to a grave?



    I wonder if Kazantzakis himself would ever approve of anyone taking a picture of anyone standing in front of his grave.  I wonder if he would approve of the idea of having his body put into a grave, and a cross being above it.  I mean, now.  Would he approve of his own epitaph, if he saw what has been done to it?  


    Wasn't K. against fetishes involving saint's bones, bodies, grave sites and similar trappings of conventional religion?  I don't think it would be amiss to suggest he would, especially now, be against turning his own bones, the remains of his own body and his grave site into kind of fetish.  Other questions come to my mind.


    How many people, after their own deaths, will arrive in (what we call) Heaven, and ask to see the grave site of someone they know, some seer, or even the gravestone of Christ, not realizing, in all likelihood, there no tombs in Paradise.   


    ("Well, at least let us see some bones," someone might ask). 


    The reason I mention any of this is because the title is, "the reason classical music is dying." But classical music is not dying, because it cannot perish in the way that animal bodies do.


    A few bars of Bach, Beethoven, and Mahler are worth more than ten billion gravesites, and more beautiful than any photograph of them, in no small part, because they are NOT mere sepulchers containing rotting bones.


    They contain the expression of fleshless and eternal ideas, that transcend the fleeting concerns of transient material bodies.


  • Fredrick said, of Kazazantzakis,


    He's dead now so that even if he objected to people standing on his headstone, we are never likely to hear about it.


    My point was not that he would "object to people standing on this headstone," but the reverse.  He would probably object to people making a fetish out of his grave, or turning his tombstone into a kind of semi-sacred object.  He wouldn't care if someone stepped on it.


    On the other point about whether we are likely to "hear about it" (about what Kazantzakis objects to now), I think that depends upon your interests.  After the death of your body, when you awake, you may be able to ask him directly, or consult someone who does know the answer to your question.  Of course, if you are not interested in the question, and don't really want to know, then you are (almost certainly) not likely to "hear about it."  It probably depends upon you.

    Whether Stravinsky still likes "everything staccato" may also be something people can find out about later, if they are still interested.  I would guess that he's more open minded on such issues than he was in this life; and the same may be true of Eugene Ormandy.  (And on "religious questions," Stravinsky might still not adhere as strictly as he once did to certain tenets of the Russian Orthodox Church).


    Bob Porter said,


    "Seems to me that English is one of the least romantic and most complicated languages so that when you translate anything meaningful into it, most of the meaning is lost."


    Probably not "most." I am thinking of one study that shows only 33.04% per cent of the meaning is lost, when you translate Homer's Iliad from ancient Greek into modern English. However, when you translate it into French, 33.26 % of the meaning is lost.  Slightly more.


    (Roger may be able to tell us whether this can explain why the Georgia Guidestones were NOT translated into French, but only into English, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Hebrew and Swahili).


    Is English one of the "least Romantic languages" in the world?  Of course, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Catalan, Occitan, Romansch, Latin and Romanian are all "Romance" languages, and therefore more "Romantic," perhaps in some sense, than Germanic languages, like English, Norwegian and Dutch.


    But I don't know believe there is evidence to show English is less Romantic than Chinese, Tibetan, Korean, Swahili, Hausa, Fulani, Bahasa Indonesian, Urdu or Turkish, or most of the world's languages.


    If the quantity of "Romantic poetry" produced and propagated by a language is any indication, English may rank fairly high as a "Romantic language," in an objective scale, containing all of the world's several estimated 6,000 or so distinct tongues.  (That doesn't even include a huge number of languages believed to be still undiscovered in New Guinea.  We may also include idiolects, of course, which would bring the total higher.)


    According to one provisional study, English ranks as  fifth, just below German, French, Russian and Italian in the production of "Romantic poetry."  When you consider the reputation of Hölderlin, Schiller, Pushkin, Lermontov and many other "Romantic poets" outside the English tradition, this is not surprising.


    "The epitaph probably makes more sense in Greek."


    We can take very seriously the idea of several studies that indicate the following:  Any given epitaph is approximately 67 % more likely to make sense in its original language than it would in any target language into which it would be translated. 


    "And being excommunicated doesn't mean you are without religion. Something to remember with Reformation day coming up."


    True, in one sense.  However, the problem is, if you don't remember "Reformation Day," or you don't believe in it, there are some groups that will perform on you something that is tantamount to "excommunication."


    Is this something to remember as Festivus approaches?  I have no idea.

  • Is this Archilochos of Paros (the famous warrior) ?

    Could you provide the original also just for checking/comparing the viability of translating Ionian not rhyming into English attempting to rhyme poetry and also checking as to how much specifically or consciously Kazantzakis was looking at him?


    Jon Corelis said:

    Kazantzakis's famous epitaph is one of those profoundly simple  statements which explanation crumbles into bromide.  It needs to be understood, I think, as the statement not of someone who has just decided to give up but of someone who has just decided to get started.  It goes like so much of K's apparently modern existential thought right back to ancient Greece, specifically (and perhaps consciously) to Archilochos (the translation is mine:)

    Archilochos:  To his soul

    Soul, my soul, don't let them break you,
    all these troubles. Never yield:
    though their force is overwhelming,
    up! attack them shield to shield,

    nor victorious rise exalted,
    vaunting you can never fall,
    nor defeated lie in endless
    grieving, as if loss were all.

    Take the joy and bear the sorrow,
    looking past your hopes and fears:
    learn to recognize the measured
    dance that orders all our years.

  • Might it be this:


  • This is a "reading" of the work:

  • Thanks very much,Ondib. I will look at the translation when I get some time.

    The reading not bad, but a bit fast for my taste. :-)

  • You're welcome.

    I didn't think the reading was as spirited as I would have liked it to have been.

    Compare with this, and let me know what you think:

    [Fast forward to 12:45].  

    Pierre Henry 

    Le voile d'Orphée I

    Socrates Arvanitakis said:

    Thanks very much,Ondib. I will look at the translation when I get some time.

    The reading not bad, but a bit fast for my taste. :-)

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