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A falcon, a storm or a great song


Uploaded on Sep 1, 2017

piano

Pages 1
Duration 0:47
Measures 9
Key signature natural
Parts 1
Part names Piano
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*Listens* realizes without formal theory training and compositional training one cannot write something like this.

An impressive piece on an evocative text by Rilke!
I vote for the great song ;) (kidding of course)

In reply to by JWvR

I haven't read enough Rilke to be an expert, but I believe his central vision is related to a 'great motherhood'. In Rilke's own words: 'eine große Mutterschaft, als gemeinsame Sehnsucht' (Briefe an einen jungen Dichter). This 'great motherhood' relates to the loneliness of the artist. Rilke has a lot to say about this loneliness, it's something the artist almost has to embrace. The unbearable loneliness is the labor pain of the artist, so to say.

This female archetype is not about the attraction of men to women per se. It isn't either about women in search for the goddess in themselves. Actually it has nothing to do with gender at all. It's more about fulfilling the artist's vocation, and also about compassion. As such it is related to the innumerable personilazitions (male and female) of compassion from Eastern and Western religions.

To the young poet he writes: 'Pherhaps above them all there is a great motherhood, in the form of a communal yearning. (...) But everything that may someday be possible for many people, the solitary man can now, already, prepare and build with his own hands, which make fewer mistakes. Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain is causes you. For those who are near you are far away, you write, and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.' (translation Stephen Mitchell)

In 'The notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge he writes: ' I have seen the saint in the Pantheon [frescoes of the symbolist painter Puvis de Chavannes], the lonely, sainted woman and the roof and the door and, inside, the lamp with its modest circle of light, and out there the sleeping city and the river and the distance in the moonlight. The saint watches over the sleeping city. I've wept. I've wept because it was all suddenly and so unexpectedly there. I stood before it and wept. I couldn't help it. (...) Choosing or refusing are out of the question. Do you think that Flaubert came to write ' Saint- Julien 1 ' Hospitalier ' by chance? It seems to me that it hinges on whether or not you can bring yourself to to lie beside a leper and to warm him with the warmth of lovers ' nights because nothing other than good can come of it . (...) My God, if only something of this could be shared. But would it then exist? No, it comes only at the price of being on one's own.' (translation William Needham )

Around Christmas he wrote to the young poet about God:
'Why don't you think of him as the one who is coming, who has been approaching from all eternity, the one who will someday arrive, the ultimate fruit of a tree whose leaves we are? What keeps you from projecting his birth into the ages that are coming into existence, and living your life as a painful and lovely day in the history of a great pregnancy?'
(Translation Stephen Mitchell)

Those were long quotes. Just to show where my next musical challenge lies.

In reply to by Hans Jacobi

Fascinating remarks. One can say much about it. Two remarks. Is the 'great motherhood' on a certain manner linked to Goethe's 'das ewig Weibliche' (Faust II)? And second, the quote about the leper reminds me very much of the leper scene in Messiaen's opera 'François d'Assise'...

In reply to by JWvR

I certainly think so, on a symbolic, archetypal level, although I found no remark about Goethe's Faust by Rilke. The connection with Saint Francis is also apt, the maternal role can be fulfilled by women and man alike (as stated by Rilke in his Letters to the Young Poet).
You could also think of Avalokiteshvara, the many manifestations of Avalokiteshvara while helping ordinary man and women (Lotus Sutra, chapter 24), Lady Wisdom of the Book of Proverbs, the Logos/Christ from the beginning of the gospel of John, Romans 8:22 (We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time), Galatians 3:28 (no man or woman in Christ), etc..
Ik heb veel geleerd van het boek 'Zij is altijd soms' (2015) van de zenleraar Ton Lathouwers, over 'vrouwelijke gestalten van compassie'. Het uitgangspunt is Quan Yin. Toch gaat het boek relatief weinig over Quan Yin en het boeddhisme. Het is veel meer een literatuurstudie, verwijzend naar de moderne Russische en Europese literatuur vanaf Dostojewski. Zo ben ik er ook toegekomen om Rilke te lezen.