COMPOSITIONS By Composer MARILYNN STARK
ECHOES ON MUSIC
By Marilynn Stark
The beauty of a classical music piece is perhaps beyond description in simple words. How can one in words alone ever say what a classical music work says? How can one in sheer words inspire the same level of emotion and any resolution of emotion which arise out of the sound once heard and then once again echoed further on in the variance of passage in that classical piece? Such poetic passage through some majestic structure gently, perhaps, holding, and now superimposed by dint of memory's moving moment upon the surrendered mind-- there comes a wave of realization that all phrases said just before are qualified and understood beyond what had been immediately and spontaneously conferred in the saying. This meaning, this ulterior sound with message so clear, came as if from other parts and needs to be said again and heard again for its profound statement; yet no words in simple language can ever strive to say what was just heard. It remains only to hear this piece once more, so that its offer of requiting can be more fully understood and understood for all time. Where else can this truth ever be found in quite this way while at the same time lending such a pleasing ideation in sonorous feat?
This is the ultimate in musical art, the classical lore which has bravely come down through the ages across decades and centuries to us. From times before does the classical music style arrive, from places and people who lived in different styles and in various cultures with their own individualized ways of governing and living together as people; yet these originators of classical music were people alive on the same Earth with the same fundamental values and appreciation of life and of freedom in life to realize their own -- to be given the opportunity to achieve self-actuation. In the process of this strife to know the self and to contribute to the greater society accordingly, however different that society or of whatever size, there must be a success and thus a joy at the selfsame feature of life for which we in today's time also desire to know: the truth. Indeed, truth is the supreme guide, the greatest, universal ingredient of all thinking, of all contemplation and of all art and science which express that truth in a disposition of basic goodness. The goodness is for the betterment of all and the preservation thereby of all of mankind. In the time of the eighteenth century, for instance, mankind had its own moments to ponder, its own course to plot in its own individualized way. Yet, the same fundamental challenges and resistances to truth presented. The people, the leaders and the rulers were occupied with questions of survival and values for the happiness of the people and the security of their respective communities and nations. There were religiously born values. There were threats and there were victories of the power of the wise and good among them to conquer whether locally or on the international stage. All of this comes to us through the classical music message of former time. Indeed, so valued and timeless it is that we might want to call it even ancient.
When once the mind and heart are embraced and the airy surround becomes embossed with such grace and dignity as the classical music style might offer, there is no argumentative cacophony to be pondered, or so it seems. If stormy venue does present, how magnificent the resolving theme in answer; it is as if there had been no more purpose in the fray than to establish its caring, most compassionate solution. Hear tell of the roots of this most eloquently contained music whose constraints upon fragmented emotions must only enlighten one who truly hears its majestic awareness. In fact, it is said that the classical bearing finds its beginnings in an educated European setting. How removed and how remote in time and in personae -- a visage of those gifted in wealth and finery comes to mind. Such luxurious yesteryear's imagery must haunt and taunt us, for we have never found a place worthy of listening to a message from other parts and places of yore. Instead, do we tend to be mindful of life's lackluster practicum wherein we abide most certainly? No. No, we should not demur and defer to the commonplace aspects of living when there is time to thrive and thus to pursue the universal plane proffered by this beauteous, ancient musical art form called 'classical' music; what comes to mind is a polarized view older than the Greek sun wherein abides a dichotomy -- a dichotomy between elevated, heroic classicists opposing hedonists and romantic ilk. This rift in values between classicist and romanticist finds its source well before our time and could be centuries beyond the ken of any but an astute historian's count. Notwithstanding such a value-based difference derived from moral concept, can a people not hear that message of gossamery birth now echoing into and past anarchy's plaints past some field of metallic tragic tales? Is this not a message refined for its place of birth in the remote past as if its age had belied its presence when once it was understood in the here-and-now? How can those sonorous notes of antiquity be paced in the air for auditory access now, sound as instantaneously as they might, and echo some heart from former land? Had these notes from on high not famed the place in century's span together, yet still they say what is relevant of mind today? Is this some feat of time whose tempo marches through mankind's trying travail, through mankind's selfsame journey of trials and traverses, held by some wielder of fate to be delivered by a mind set in the heart for failure's bother whilst set ever yet to the eye's idea for winning actual glory and joyous song? Just what is this vintage message whose voice has never died? And what made it live on for this moment outpaced by any single clock, for this day for us to hear and to ponder past misery? What vision's eye must prevail across this glorious history's chamber where resound the ages as if unawares of some time in its rumor of inevitability in passage? As such vision uplifts and inspires a voice most discriminating unto today's contemporaneous complex of people and life, does it not see through us as evolved and progressed as we are? No rumor as it might be, time is thus befriended and true to heart's ageless compassion no matter how well-learned the hearer of the classical music say since classical music speaks to all of every birth -- unequivocally and truthfully.
This is the echo of grand time on its own grand scale, balanced so mightily yet so carefully so as to seem as delicate as it can be in certain phrases welcome now to these times; forsooth, this echoic phraseology despite its long journey from the unknown of the profound past finds its welcome here and now with a facility to match even the best of its own legato. So that is it, that is time which pales to cavernous echo within its own categorical, heroic search for eternity; indeed, this paling of time itself is the feat of the beauty and message of the classical music intent upon us of this modern era. Indeed, now listen to its play upon our still perceptive ears though many had heard it before we were born--listen to the echo now close in time whilst the timing itself of this piece of art threatens to humble us to our contemporary places no matter the walk. Within the magic of the work of classical music there is a way in which to convey and to say. This soulful, timeless message is what must have been said for all eras and ages together to hear; it is the careful structure of classical music which guides and gives a form in a language style which never died.
If the truth of this great music language is so, then should words of analysis take notice of how to speak in the language of music in classical mode, although never to meet in description its very worth? As precise as such even truthful parsing words might be in scientific right in their due analysis, such words certainly never would be capable of reflecting the same message and meaning as that to which they might become taxonomic. Such is the echo in the close of time upon a moment in a single life of a single day wherein such an archaic classical piece is formed by the use of refrain in ordered fashion, predetermined as it was from its very conception in the mind of an exacting composer though from days of yore. This echoic rondo offers answerability in a seemingly endless rendition of opining opulence in harmonious appositional accord. The rondo relies upon the ear for a re-assortment of what is heard and restated after some equally decorous rejoinder qualifies the original elegance. This echo of former section instates the memory of melodious, poetic air upon the theme larger to the piece. These resounding notes of the rondo in careful interpolation of contrasting partitions cause a meaning to be found which is deeper than the simple melody first proffered and then performed again and then again after further comment and elaborative embellishment upon the founding sound, its first tendering. Indeed, is that sound mellifluous and complete at once unto itself that it can be affixed then again to a neighbor and understood more profoundly? Remarkably, indeed, need a devotee ever even consciously separate this query since, lost in the reveling, will that devotee blindly ask for more? By virtue of the essence of the classical music dynamic will that quest to hear more by the very hold of its explicit momentum be ever met. Through use of the rondo structure, a ritornello, or refrain, will recur faithfully in between contrasting surges of music textured for its horizontal interposition and often also its instrument comprise. The whole of the instruments, the tutti, will echo the refrain to be challenged for dramatic antagonist by the soli, the lone instrumental passages. What honor is paid to this recurring statement by whatever name it is given. However, only that honor is heard which is meet in expressivity with its forbearer and, if by contrasting statement, would so tell it more. Together these counterparts to one unified message in the rondo principle of musical expression so typical of the concerto form are overall indescribable for the contagion of clarion call to truth thus conferred, and, whatever that truth may be, will it be duly heard.
There is a definite advantage in numbers in typical apposition of truth to measurable continua, for then a more careful determination of any hypothesis can be made. As such numbers accrue and sum up, then their truest meaning can be unfolded as to their reliability in feature or as to their predictability in any given and discernable context of reality. Imagine now being a classical music composer who has at immediate dispatch a symphony together, a string orchestra, wherein multitudinous voices of differing instruments may lift together and fill the surround with sound greater than that which one instrument, however eloquent, can make as solo. The call to conversation in the classical language of music comports a fare which mimics the talk in life itself. Now a lone voice sounds, and answer is made by the many whether that be most likely in contrast; now an inquiry is posed in a single mind, and then the reality gained as to answer to such inquiry lifts its multitudinous facets like a chorus of the many, so that an individual's place is thus perceived. Consider the parlance, then, in the classical music form of the concerto grosso of the Baroque era which works from fast to slow to fast most likely, and within that macrostructure of movements, there will be a ritornello found in the fast movements. As much like an inquiry as a statement for the eliciting of answer, this refrain will come from the annals of the tutti, the orchestra of stringed instruments which works in dynamic keel with a continuo. From whence the challenge to melody's motive? As it sounds as if bravely from the voices of many in unison, that bold refrain lives to echo once again after the soloist recalls a point of difference or proffers in return an elaboration in accord--had anything else been said, or does this recurring missive of notes the same say more after the time before repartee had been given by its contiguous and episodic conferee? From thence the challenge to unilateral melody is met and so boldly stated. From thence is phasic exposition derived by an ear learned unto the fine structure of the ancient music beloved and known as classical. Nor can any one of the listeners held tightly within this parley imagine easily being the soloist, capable of being the protagonist of time's tempered tempo, the persona of weighty rejoinder in eloquence equivalent to the negotiating party. Nor one of those listeners might be in prospective dialogue and as according to those rules of decorum and order lest that listener might also write the scores if play them -- for this is a composer -- one who speaks in the wondrous language of music that others may give the glad accord of empathic accompaniment to that composer's deepest heart. So does the music speak like people in life: now one, now the many. In good accord and in contrast do all so gain their say as to truth and its concordant demeanor. So it is that classical music does speak the most by saying the least except by contrast: contrast in numbers of instruments whereby the many converse with the soli, contrast by tempo wherein the slow imparts meaning by its opposite imposition upon the fast movements while seeming alternatively so, and finally, contrast by the sameness of the continuo and the sameness of the ritornello. Yet the continuo and the ritornello counter the interpolation of unlike passage contained thus within the dual hold of alternately repetitive feature. And this is the place of numbers to gain the presence of significance and meaning through their passage in the continuum of time as measured in time's honored tempo of dignified and exacting music, classical music. The notes of music become traveling numbers of universal import throughout a perceptive music audience who exist for the capture of universal truth. This audience, who cannot but hear that truth as it sounds whether it sounds in the music hall, across speakers, or across centuries of time for mankind to eternally ponder, will be enlightened. The music audience so gifted to hear classical music will be enlightened by the same truth which had once enlightened the composers who had left that truth etched through the styles of bold compositions on uncharted papers, yet were these preserved through time. How can a reasoning person in today's world not clamor to hear this ancient language of music if all that has been said heretofore is cognized as real and true? This indifference of some to the majesty of classical music is a puzzle indeed to aficionados of classical music in respect to their heights in self-realization.
Imagine the cultural context of those days in history when the great classical music composers had lived and produced the eternal works of musical art which we today enjoy. This music plays in good accord the soul of time, which soul of time is timelessness, upon the strings of the instrument of truth, and whose universality of truth cannot be measured in its dexterity. For the skills of universal truth as expressed in art are beyond measure even in their own time of birth; yet, if the test of the truth of that art is then passed so far as into at least the next span of time, then begins perhaps such ageless passage to posterity's trust as that which had made the classical music art of today ever flourish. No small feat is this, and how it does sing the ages accordingly as if positioned all along by sheer brilliance for an ultimate sound. Lo, can you not hear the bellow of mankind's misery reduced to a sigh, when the classical taunt of eloquent musical refurbishment upon this current day presents; when once some messenger from on high reaches past the centuries and gives good tiding unto the way of truth for all in all times, at all times, never swaying to persuasion that time makes any difference to the salvation of us all but through truth? For if you can only listen and find your heart and perception's soul in this testimony to God's power to express His love and compassion through man in the language of classical music now born, then no problem for you in your day should render you short of that vision thus lent you by the universally uplifting classical music lesson in truth and its concomitant reality; and so is this enlightenment also true in your own individual vision for the peace and preservation of mankind, and which enlightenment can further accrue to the light of guidance for those leaders on the world stage who also see as according to the non-verbal word of unfailing compassion found in the classical music message. There must have been those composers from various periods of time in the history of the classical music heritage, which we value so deeply, who were as profoundly brilliant as the composers who came to be known chiefly among them, yet never rose to the full prominence their just due. Still some works survived for us to hear and to study even beyond any political injustice or favoritism which might have discriminated unfairly against those certain few, so that a tradition was developed and handed down to posterity. We can only look back and imagine that the equally brilliant compositions of the now forgotten composers who were treated unfairly in their times, were at least heard in that time native to their lives, and had also a fomenting effect upon the growth and development of the greater musical say of their day despite their particular unpopularity. Perhaps their love for musical perfection and expression sustained them in their own time of accomplishment, and selfless was their intent to contribute past failures of recognition but for the sake of truth. For even among the people where folk music prevails and is handed down across generations, authorship can be lost to the public domain. But since the classical music evolved from a more sheltered and smaller sector historically, from the church and state of the educated few, it would be most probable that the socio-political support for music creativity must have been a vital determinant in success and in recognition for a classical composer. Given this history' s perspective, there remains to be seen how true to the test of art for its universality of truth will mankind remain in the contemporaneous day. In this day of technology it is possible to transcend political constraint upon musical expression by the tool of electronic ubiquity. That is to say, advertising across the air and sophisticated technological advancements as through the Internet with its information highway and artistic commerce, can work together to create a highly egalitarian artistic culture of classical music for all and for all everywhere. In this way the message to be given through the vehicle of current, contemporaneously created classical music, may find its test of truth from the wider people most directly. Then may the wonder of classical music prevail accordingly through the aegis of a free enterprise system and a thriving democratic spirit.
For this is my prayer for you, the people, who might hear what I have to say as a composer of classical music.
Marilynn Stark © 2003 All Rights Reserved
©2000-2012 By Marilynn Stark All Rights Reserved
This page was last edited on 02/24/2012