Oops, sorry – yes, the Freemason part is in Chapter 12. And Andreas – are you going to become a Freemason? I don’t’ think they take women, do they? For a long time I have wanted very much to find out what my Grandfather was up to when he was one.
No, don´t worry, Monica, I´m not going to become a freemason and I have to admit, that I don´t know, if they take women. I´m just very interested in the religious symbols of Mozarts opera "The Magic Flute" and I have read the following book:
"Die Zauberflöte" (=The Magic Flute) by Alfons Rosenberg. He lived 1902-1985, at the beginning he was a communists, but then he developed to a philosoph and god-seeker. He wrote some books about symbols and there history. There exists also a famous book about Mozarts "Don Giovanni".
The Freemasons in their origin had a deep human and religious philosophy, but later, they became quite secularised, they were also a community of craftsmen and businessmen and got an important influence on the development of politics. There are theories, that they also are responsible for the French Revolution. And these secularised things are more mentioned in chapter 12, which I have read now, btw.
I´m only interested in their religious and mystic symbols, which are very deep. Mozart was a true adept, so far it is sure for me.
Isn´t it interesting, that Luc buys sitar-strings for his spinets and harpsichords? I found also very interesting this typical french atmosphere of discussion of the several people, who were in Lucs "Cafe Atelier". I can second this by own experience. (I still several times was in France and when I was still a pupil I had a french correspondent in an exchange of students. He visited me in Germany and I did the same and went to France.)
Unrelated to this, but related to pianos - I was doing some other reading about pianos today and learned that Grotrian has a duo grand piano – two grand pianos placed side by side with keyboards at opposite ends, with removable rim parts, connected soundboards, and a common lid. Doesn't that sound interesting? Wonder if there is a photo of it somewhere.
Yes, this sounds extremely interesting. I really would like to see a photo of it! Do you know the name of this model?
In the middle of nineteenth century nearly Grotrian and Steinweg separated. Steinweg went to New York, Grotrian continued to build pianos in Braunschweig (Germany). Steinweg changed his name into "Steinway" and his sons took the enterprise and named it "Steinway and sons". But the old Steinweg didn´t stay in New York. In the 1880th he went back to Hamburg (Germany) and built the "Steinways" there. So, there are German and American Steinways now. (My tuner says, that the German Steinways are better than the American ones, because they have another technique.)
Grotrian continued to built his own pianos, and that are the "Grotrian-Steinweg"-pianos of today. (They are not as expensive as Steinways, but expensive enough. F. ex. my model the Concert grand with a length of 2, 26m costs nearly 60000 Euro today, if you buy a new one. I recently saw an actual price-list. So I had a big luck to buy my nearly 25 years old model for 14000 Euro only. I think, I have made a bargain with it. I feel this piano really to be a great treasure, because of it´s high capability to produce shading nuances. This is possible because of its wide measure, my tuner has explained to me.)
Now book-time again:
In chapter 13 I find very suitable and adequate Thad´s thoughts to Beethovens Diabelli-variations. He said, that they are like an abstract of the classical era like Bachs Goldberg-variations are for the baroque epoch.
Here in chapter 13 it becomes clear again, that Thad likes the spontanous and private sphere of music-making respective piano-playing. So, he is deeply moved by listening to several musicians, which he heard either by passing through the streets of Paris or through open windows on the courtyard, f.ex. the older lady playing Beethovens Diabelli-variations, the jazz-guitarist, harpenist, flutist and the accompanist, who has several singers in his appartment.
He visits Jean Paul, the accompanist, and has an interesting discussion about perfect pitch and relative pitch and about song against piano, which is considered as a percussion-instrument by Jean-Paul.
Jean-Paul tells us about the advatanges and disadvantages of perfect pitch (I think, in German it´s "absolutes Gehör", "absolute ear"). The problem is, that his pitch is trained on the usual a=440 Hz, and if an instrument is tuned a bit higher he gets big problems. He also said, that a piano can never made to be singing like a real voice, even most pianists want to make the piano sing.
He describes the qualities of an accompanist: tact, humility, kindness and firmness about musical principles. I personally second that.
Very interesting for me is, that Farinelli as an exemplar of the old singers, had much knowledge in musical harmony and theory. I think, this is very important not only for the instrumentalists, but also for the singers. So, I agree to Jean-Pauls attitude at hundert percent again.
And I really didn´t know, that Swjatoslaw Richter worked in Odessa as an accompanist in clubs and for light entertainment in his early years, and that he got the knowledge, that "some things come only out, if you are forced to join the discontinuous notes of a piano to the ceaseless stream of the voice". Accompaning means for Jean Paul to breath together "and the music is your breath".
Truely, chapter 13 is a very profound one. I like it very much.