GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Sean on February 21, 2009, 08:39:54 PM

Title: Nietzsche
Post by: Sean on February 21, 2009, 08:39:54 PM
Just been listening to his piano piece Ermanarich, which is rather more interesting and sophisticated a piece than I was expecting from reading about his composing efforts- it's more Scriabinian than just Lisztian and though doesn't leave a strong sense of coherence, and perhaps reflects some of his thinking in being a little chaotic, it's a fairly substantial eight minutes.
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Guido on February 22, 2009, 04:14:00 AM
That's one I haven't heard - where did you get it? I have the 2 CD Nietzsche compositions set and I have to say that I am charmed by them in their limited and naive way. As you say, they are much better than you would expect, and he often does some very lovely and surprising things with the harmony - Scumann and Wagner are the two clearest influences. He mostly composed short songs but there are a fair number of longer piano pieces too - two of which are around the 15 minute mark. My favourite is the 15 minute violin Rhapsody.
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Cato on February 22, 2009, 05:26:33 AM
I once wrote here some years ago that as a composer Nietzsche was an interesting philosopher.   0:)

"Limited and naive" are the proper adjectives.
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Guido on February 22, 2009, 01:37:00 PM
You're saying that his Philosophy was limited and naive?
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Haffner on February 22, 2009, 02:21:03 PM
You're saying that his Philosophy was limited and naive?




Some would say so.
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Guido on February 22, 2009, 03:33:25 PM
It never fails to astonish me, the regularity with which relative mediocrities* will dismiss the work of so many the great thinkers and geniuses.

*this is not meant as a slight on you or anyone else - we are all mediocrities when compared to these great figures.
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Sean on February 22, 2009, 03:49:36 PM
Poor Nietzsche will always be scorned for some of the things he said; he made some fine points but was just too conceited a bastard to ever get the highest regard. Some have argued he went insane because of the contradictions that emerged in his work, and rather than the 'yes-saying' disposition he was promoting he was increasingly 'no-saying', book after book trying to revise what he'd said before (ref Michael Tanner).

His problem was that he found Wagner occupying a seat he'd reserved for himself (ref Brian Magee). Wagner's music exactly mirrored Nietzsche's thought, as he acknowledges in The Birth of tragedy, but then goes on to seriously confuse his notions of Dionysiac and Apollonian, jettisoning the Apollonian but also saying that there was no structure within Wagner's Dionysian form.
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Sean on February 22, 2009, 03:50:32 PM
I once wrote here some years ago that as a composer Nietzsche was an interesting philosopher.   0:)

"Limited and naive" are the proper adjectives.

Whereas in Scriabin you get a sense of the whole at the end of the piece, the Nietzsche example just kind-of fizzles out.
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Cato on February 22, 2009, 04:06:18 PM
You're saying that his Philosophy was limited and naive?

Please read carefully!  His music was limited and naive.

His philosophy was contradictory and egocentric!   0:)
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Haffner on February 22, 2009, 05:03:07 PM
It never fails to astonish me, the regularity with which relative mediocrities* will dismiss the work of so many the great thinkers and geniuses.

*this is not meant as a slight on you or anyone else - we are all mediocrities when compared to these great figures.



I respect you, Guido. But I don't consider Nietzsche to be particularly great. Again, this is just my opinion. Much of Nietzsche's work borrowed from the hyperbolic writing style of many writers of the time, (like Wagner) and mostly regurgitated what the Greeks already figured out hundreds of years before him.

This is coming from someone whom used to pretty much "live" Nietzsche. It wasn't until I studied up on Buddhism, the Greeks, the early Roman philosophers, Zen...that I realised that Nietzsche is highly regarded mainly because he appealed to the youth. His writing style is very sensational, Romantic...often quite exciting.

Yet, it could be argued that writers like Doestoevsky and Kierkegaard made the same summations that Nietzsche did, around the very same time he did.

Not to take away from Nietzsche's books, which are often fascinating. Thus Spoke Zarathustra was like a bible to me for a very long time. My favorite now has to be Beyond Good and Evil, though Geneology of Morals and Anti-Christlich both have at least a couple of new-ish ideas. Again, it's hard for me to assert that Nietzsche wrote anything particularly groundbreaking, Kierkegaard especially was writing stuff that was just as existential at roughly the same time.

I should also point out that Schoepenhauer was directly responsible for alot of Nietzsche's ideas (both contra and pro), as well as..you won't like this...Wagner.
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Haffner on February 22, 2009, 05:05:36 PM


His philosophy was contradictory and egocentric!   0:)


Well, there's alot of truth in that statement, but I wonder if that could be said about pretty much any philosopher.

To be fair, Nietzsche made reasonably sure to let his readers know that all his ideas were speculation, to be worked through the listener's own experience. He set nothing in stone, which could be said to be the sign of an above average philosopher.
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Guido on February 22, 2009, 05:22:22 PM
Thing is though, he has continued to be studied by other philosophers and academics for quite a long time now, and I'm pretty sure that would not be the case were it quite as simple as you say. I don't know his work anywhere near as well as you do, but agree that BGE maybe his best...

Apart from anything, he is one of the most successful critics of Kant which is no mean feat! Surely you will grant him this?
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Haffner on February 22, 2009, 05:29:52 PM
Thing is though, he has continued to be studied by other philosophers and academics for quite a long time now, and I'm pretty sure that would not be the case were it quite as simple as you say. I don't know his work anywhere near as well as you do, but agree that BGE maybe his best...

Apart from anything, he is one of the most successful critics of Kant which is no mean feat! Surely you will grant him this?


Well, I think he gets studied so much because

a) he was a "modern"-ish (and often VERY good) writer.
b) again, it's mostly young people that find Nietzsche's writing style irresistible, and young people that (like me) fall crazy in love with Nietzsche usually end up getting more inquisitive about other philosopher's works. So, obviously, I'm all for young folks studying Neitzsche. It leads to other philosophies/theologies.

And yes, Nietzsche was often an extraordinarily insightful critic of the philosophers before and around him. This is when his criticisms weren't overly burdened by his sensationalising writing style. Nietzsche has a lot of bile to spew, and it ended up ruining some of his most accurate critiques.

Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Guido on February 22, 2009, 05:43:22 PM
Fair enough.

So, obviously, I'm all for young folks studying Neitzsche. It leads to other philosophies/theologies.

So what you're saying is that he's a sort of 'gateway drug' into philosophy! Ironic also that what it lead you to was Catholicism...
Title: Re: Nietzsche
Post by: Haffner on February 22, 2009, 05:47:32 PM
Fair enough.

So what you're saying is that he's a sort of 'gateway drug' into philosophy! Ironic also that what it lead you to was Catholicism...


Yeah, I thought of that "gateway drug" thing (laughing).

My going back to the church was due to another occurence entirely. Though it's interesting to view such as ironic.

I still read my old philosophy and theology books. Relatively recently I reread the Koran. So I've tried to keep my horizons broad.