Divinely-Inspired Composers of Music (Music and the Soul, capp. 21-23)



Caelestial Symphonies of Bruckner and of Mahler


pp. 296, 299, 302 Anton Bruckner

p. 296

"his music is a perfect sonic expression of the bhakti yoga way of devotion".

p. 298

"the first editions of ... Bruckner's symphonies were ... heavily revised by ... friends to make them more "acceptable" -- which meant ... more ... Wagnerian. Scores that represented Bruckner's original intentions didn't become available until the 1930s."

p. 398, n. 21:8

"A few historic recordings of the bastardized first editions (either by the Schalk brothers or Ferdinand Lo:we) are still on the market. These should be avoided.

The critical edition ... . ... the first editor, Robert Hass ... included ... revisions of ... scores that he believed were aesthetically superior to those of the composer ... .

p. 399, n. 21:8

Some critics felt that his choices were genuine improvements ... .

The second editor of the critical edition, Leopold Nowak, removed all of Hass's emendations ... . ... Most recordings of Bruckner's symphonies are clearly labeled as representing the Hass ... or Nowak ... editions."

p. 299

Bruckner's 6th Symphony : "The Sixth is the first complete product of Bruckner's having attained the plane of higher mind. It's macrorhythmically composed throughout. ... Only a conductor who knows how to bring out the macrorhythmic nature of such music is able to perform it successfully. ... The recording [EMI Classics CDM 567037] by Otto Klemperer and the New Philharmonia Orchestra leaves {assurance} ... that the Sixth is Bruckner's first fully integrated masterpiece."

p. 399, n. 21:11

Bruckner's 7th Symphony : "My favorite recording of of Bruckner's Seventh, by Claudio Abbado and the Vienna Philharmonic (Deutsche Gramophon 437518) is unfortunately out of print. Abbado is one of the few contemporary conductors ... who is sensitive to the macrorhythmic structure of ... music -- and always brings it out."

p. 300

Bruckner's 8th Symphony : "The Eighth Symphony (usually performed in its second {i.e., not revised by his friends} version, of 1890) seems to be Bruckner's depiction of death and the Afterlife. ... The second movement is ... the soul's ecstatic flight ..., as it revels in the magic and mystery of its freedom from the body. The opening of the third movement has the glory of a spectacular ... true heaven ... .

p. 301

... The opening of the Finale has an ... apocalyptic intensity ... related to ... the four horsemen ... come to announce ... (Revelation 6:1-7). The long coda is one of the most glorious passages in all of Bruckner -- an apotheosis".

Bruckner's 9th Symphony : "I've already mentioned the important role that Bruckner's Nin[e]th Symphony played in my determination to become a composer. Bruckner was nearing the end of his life as he composed the work. The first movement ... targets the solemn, mysterious, sublime range ... . ... Bruckner never finished the Finale. A performing version was prepared from his sketches in the early 1980s by William Carragan. Although I'm often disappointed by posthumous completions of a composer's unfinished pieces, Carragan's work is definitive."

p. 399, n. 21:13

"I highly recommend the recording of of the four-movement version of Bruckner's Nin[e]th Symphony by Yoav Talmi and the Oslo Philharmonic (Chandos 7051). The recording includes not only ... Carragan completion of the Finale [= 4th movement], but also renderings of the sketches themselves, which Bruckner had written out in great detail."

p. 302

"If Scott had known the original, rather than the bastardized ["heavily revised" (p. 298)],

versions of Bruckner's symphonies, he might have recognized in them the spiritual qualities that he called ethereal."

audio of music by Bruckner https://play.spotify.com/search/Anton%20Bruckner

pp. 303-5 Gustav Mahler

p. 303

"About the Third Symphony, he writes [1979, p. 190] : It "will be something the world has never heard before! In it Nature herself acquires a voice and tells secrets so profound that they are perhaps only glimpsed in dreams!" ... The program for work ... is conceived [1979, pp. 179-80] as a set "signposts and milestones ... on ... a map of the heavens ... with all its luminous worlds." ... Mahler even had [1979, p. 190] "an eery feeling" while

p. 304

composing the work's many movements, "as if were not I who composed them."

The spiritual hierarchy that Mahler referred to ... is ... of devas".

"About his Eighth Symphony, which is sometimes called Symphony of a Thousand ..., Mahler wrote [1979, p. 294] : "... the whole universe beginning to resound. These are no longer human voices, but ..." ... a chorus of nature spirits."

"Mahler's First Symphony ... was inspired by a novel called Titan by his favorite German romantic author, Jean Paul. [JPFR:T]

The Third Symphony was inspired by Nietzsche's Das Fro:hliche Wissenschaft (The Gay {Frolicsome} Science)." (FN:JW)

"The second movement of the Fourth Symphony represents a violin-playing character from German folklore who leads away the soul after death.

The second and fourth movements of the Seventh Symphony, both entitled Nachtmusik (Serenade), also ... illustrate inner visions ... . The former seems ... a fantastic nocturnal landscape full of imaginary {mythic} beings".

p. 305

"The unfinished Tenth Symphony contains two demonic scherzos, the second of which is marked "Death dances with me." The fifth and final movement was intended to portray the funeral march ... that Mahler witnessed shortly before he died.

Mahler's Nin[e]th ... is ... supposed to represent death knocking at the door. ... But ... I had no doubt about when death came knocking ... so loud and terrifying that they knocked me right out of my body. It was ... just a sense of my astral body and my physical body being out of alignment with each other. I was unable to hear the music that came afterward, and I couldn't move, even when it was time to turn over the record. A few minutes later, I was able to sit up but couldn't talk."

Mahler 1979 = Gustav Mahler (ed. by Knut Martner; transl. by Wilkins, Kaiser, & Hopkins) : Selected Letters. NY : Farrar, Straus, Giroux.

JPFR:T = Jean Paul Friedrich Richter (transl. by Charles T. Brooks): Titan. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/35664/35664-h/35664-h.htm

FN:JW = Friedrich Nietzsche (transl. by Thomas Common) : The Joyful Wisdom ("La Gaya Scienza"). https://archive.org/stream/completenietasch10nietuoft/completenietasch10nietuoft_djvu.txt

audio of music by Mahler https://play.spotify.com/search/Gustav%20Mahler

p. 308 music for erotic lovemaking

"During lovemaking, I've sometimes had the feeling of being inside Wagner's Prelude to Tristan und Isolde or that the music was inside me, guiding ... from the slight pressure of a caress, to the most tender or passionate kiss, and beyond these expressions of love ... to an ecstatic sense of union.

Similar energetic messages are encoded in the Adagietto of Mahler's Fifth."



Would-Be Mystics : Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern


pp. 311-3 Arnold Schoenberg

p. 311

"Schoenberg was a deeply spiritual man. ... At all times, he was fascinated with the writings of the seventeenth-century {actually, flourished early 18th-century ChrE} Swedish mystic Emanuel Swedenborg, who wrote detailed accounts of

out-of-body-like visits to the Afterlife, including extensive conversations with the angels he encountered there."

{These can be described as dreams about Heaven (and about Hell).}

p. 312

Jacob's Ladder : "Schoenberg had the revolutionary idea of instructing different parts of the orchestra to play slightly out of phase with each other, to represent the untying of the soul's bonds with earthly life. In the second half of the piece, which was never completed, the souls encountered in the first half were to prepare for future incarnations."

p. 313

"a few of his pieces have made it into the concert repertoire, such as the early, ultra-Wagnerian oratorio Gurrelieder (Songs of Gurre) ... . [ASch:G-L]

Only one of Schoenberg's compositions is at all popular, and even beloved : Verkla:rte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op. 4 ... . ... Corinne Heline states [1994, p. 127] that in this piece, Schoenberg "came close to parting ... the thin veil that divides the seen from the unseen.""

Heline 1994 = Corinne Heline : Music : the Keynote of Human Evolution. rev. edn. Santa Monica (CA) : New Age Bible and Philosophy Center.

ASch:G-L = audio of Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder https://play.spotify.com/search/Gurre-lieder

pp. 315-6 Alban Berg

p. 315

"Berg's other opera, Lulu, left unfinished when he died ..., was based on two plays by his contemporary Frank Wedekind, Pandora's Box and Earth-Spirit.

Its plot deals with the chaos created in the lives of a number of men by a mysterious, but sociopathic, beauty named Lulu. ...

{Cf., in "Perlesvaus ... gory tales of ... cruel, murderous ladies" (HG, p. 66).}

But one of my lucid-dreamlike adventures in consciousness helped me to understand the spiritual importance of ... Lulu. I found myself in a nonphysical reality in which the world's works for the stage exist in energetic form for the instruction of those who've passed on. I saw opera houses in the form of an Egyptian temple, representing Verdi's Ai[:]da, and an Oriental pagoda, representing Puccini's Madama Butterfly, as well as ... one for Berg's Lulu."

"Berg, like Schoenberg, was fascinated by Swedenborg, as well as a novel called Seraphita by Honore' de Balzac ... . Seraphita was based on Swedenborg's writings." (HB:S)

p. 316

"One biographer [Redlich 1957] of Berg speaks of his "inclination to mysticism, which increased with advancing years." This inclination is perhaps most noticeable in Berg's last completed work, the Violin Concerto that I described in chapter 1."

HG = Norma Lorre Goodrich : The Holy Grail. HarperCollins, NY, 1992.

HB:S = Honore' de Balzac (transl. by Katharine Prescott Wormeley) : Se'raphi^ta. http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1432/1432-h/1432-h.htm

Redlich 1957 = Hans F. Redlich : Alban Berg : the Man and His Music. NY : Abelard-Schuman.

pp. 317-9 Anton von Webern

p. 317

"Schoenberg's other famous pupil and colleague, Anton von Webern (1883-1945) was also a ... mystic ... . He, too, was fascinated by Balzac's Seraphita and the writings of Swedenborg. ...

p. 318

Webern saw nature in terms of

Swedenborg's notion of correspondences,

{This is standard Hermetic and Rosicrucian doctrine.}

in which everything in the material world corresponds to something in the spiritual world. In Webern's belief [Johnson 1999, p. 34], "the natural world with all that it contains exists and subsists from the spiritual world ... .""

p. 319

"Webern developed a technique of orchestration that he called Klangfarbenmelodie, a means of passing a single melody from instrument to instrument so that its tone color (Klangfarben) {timbre} was constantly changing."

Johnson 1999 = Julian Johnson : Webern and the Transformation of Nature. Cambridge U Pr.



Sometime Mystics : Busoni, Hindemith, Stravinsky, and Barto`k


pp. 323-4 Ferruccio Busoni (1866-1924)

p. 323

"Busoni ... had [NGD, s.v. "Busoni, Ferruccio"] "a lifelong interest in mysticism and oriental philosophy." Doktor Faust [FB:DF], left unfinished at the composer's death, was ... a mystical retelling of the Faust legend, based on medieval pupper plays ... . ... The second Prologue, in which Faust uses a magic book given him by three mysterious students, is one of the most convincing portayals of the occult in opera. Faust conjures up six different spirits, each of them operating at a different speed, from that of the sand passing through the hourglass, to a falling leaf, a brook, a tempest, and finally ... Mephistopheles, who moves as quickly as the thoughts of man. ... The opera ends with Faust losing his soul to Mephistopheles, but not

p. 324

before he has used his magic to bequeath his life to his own dead child, The latter rises up as a naked youth bearing a flowering branch ... . ... In the yoga of listening, ... the Symphonia from Doktor Faust could be useful as a means of aligning ourselves with the soul ... . ... Inner peace is what I experienced as a result of listening to this music over and over again when I was in college."

NGD = New Grove Dictionary, 2nd edn.

FB:DF = audio of Busoni's Doktor Faust https://play.spotify.com/album/1bWOmkznhUTFsthhaUuCWR

pp. 324, 326 Paul Hindemith

p. 324

"I referred to Hindemith in chapter 2 [or rather, chapter 1, p. 9] in connection with the type of TME in which a composer sees the whole terrain of an unwritten piece as if illuminated by a lightning bolt of inspiration."

p. 326

"Hindemith ... invented a new, tonally based music system, which he hoped would supplant Schoenberg's. ... Though Hindemith's system is easier on the ears than Schoenberg's, it produced music with a dreary sameness about it ... . Little of the large-scale music composed by this system after Hindemith's most popular piece, the Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes of Carl Maria von Weber, of 1943, is any longer played." (H:SMTh)

H:SMTh = audio of Hindemith https://play.spotify.com/album/5VsdWIhXuXHyHzt2ZjA7kN/1rwuFQCJimDFOtRrY7Fxrv 5-8 "Symphonic Metamorphoses on Themes ...".


pp. 327-8 Igor Stravinsky

p. 327

"Stravinsky claimed [Stravinsky & Craft 1962, p. 169], with respect to Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring), that "I had only my ear to help me. I heard and wrote what I heard. I am the vessel through which Le Sacre passed."

Not only did this piece change the history of music, but also ...

p. 328

Stravinsky was frightened of once again becoming such a vessel."

Stravinsky & Craft 1962 = Igor Stravinsky & Robert Craft : Expositions and Developments. Garden City (NY) : Doubleday.

pp. 328-9 Be`la Barto`k

p. 328

"his music is full of mystical moments, like brief peak experiences. By the end of his life. he was composing late masterworks that contain the entire range of human experience. These late master-

p. 329

works are as spiritual as anything in Beethoven's late period. ... I will never forget the TME that resulted from my first hearing of his Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta. [BB:MSP&C] ... My TME occurred in the middle of the third movement. The strings began to build up a haze of trills. My bedroom seemed to be filled with a fearsome, radiant presence like that of an angel. ... But I was also paralyzed ... . ...

Scott would probably have classified my TME as deva-inspired. ... Scott spoke [1958, p. 101] not only of nature-spirit devas, but also of "Lesser National Devas," associated with the development of the world's peoples, especially folklore. ... The music certainly had the ecstasy and grandeur ... that Scott associated with the highest range of deva music."

BB:MSP&C = audio of Barto`k's Music for Strings, Percussion, and Celesta https://play.spotify.com/album/394X3IkE15AawAgdfOfb6r & https://play.spotify.com/album/3BxqWenpBJ36elbFqSMjI9

pp. 332-3 Barto`k's Concerto for Orchestra

p. 332

"In the yoga of listening, Barto`k's Concerto for Orchestra [BB:CO] is the perfect remedy for anyone suffering from depression, illness, or the effects of physical, emotional, or spiritual exhaustion. Perhaps because of Barto`k's precarious health ..., the Concerto for Orchestra is is more directly about the fluctuations of the life force -- its rising and falling at the instigation of the soul -- than any other music I'm familiar with. The work begins ... with a sense of mystery, awe, the sublime. ...

p. 333

As in much of Barto`k's music, there are momentary peak experiences -- flashes ... that amount to glimpses of the soul. ... The fourth movement, called "Interrupted Intermezzo," ... takes a hilarious turn when Barto`k parodies a passage from the Seventh Symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich ..., complete with imitations of laughter in the woodwinds ... . ... Much of the Finale appeals to exuberance ..., although there's also ... the ... most good-humored fugue you'll ever hear. The end of the piece carries it ... to the ecstasy of ... a rush of notes that almost seems

to pull me up by the hair --

{"will all be able to catch hold of the supermind by the hair of the head ...?" (SACM, cap. XI, p. 207)}

an almost physical sensation of the opening of the crown chakra."

SACM = Dilip Kumar Roy : Sri Aurobindo Came to Me. Harikrishna Mandir -- Pune. http://www.sriaurobindoashram.com/Content.aspx?ContentURL=_staticcontent/sriaurobindoashram/-09%20e-library/-03%20Disciples/Dilip%20Kumar%20Roy/-02_Sri%20Aurobindo%20came%20to%20Me/-18_The%20Seer%20Poet.htm & http://beta.sriaurobindoashram.org.in/php/SriAurobindoAshram/-09%20E-Library/-03%20Disciples/Dilip%20Kumar%20Roy/-02_Sri%20Aurobindo%20came%20to%20Me/-19_The%20Seer%20Poet.htm

BB:CO = audio of Barto`k's Concerto for Orchestra https://play.spotify.com/album/31DNc0HvYTDyibi9X2qFaY & https://play.spotify.com/album/0CnDhWLdq8OVYd2fEpqPJ1


Kurt Leland : Music and the Soul : a Listener's Guide to Achieving Transcendent Musical Experiences. Hampton Rds Publ Co, Charlottesville (VA), 2004.