Sunday, February 10, 2008

Music & The Man...

It seems as though the interesting relationship between Walter and Clarisse is explained quite a bit through their musical exchanges. Clarisse wants Walter to be a "success" or rather an acceptable figure in high society. Their playing of "Ode to Joy" a masterpiece in its time, expresses both of their desires. Walter would like to produce greatness but is unable. Clarisse wants greatness from him but doesn't get it. When Walter plays Wagner it expresses his feeling of defeat. Clarisse dislikes it when he plays Wagner because she wants greatness for Walter and she sees Wagner's music as voluptuous and mere fanciness, which is not at all the raw art she wants from Walter.
It seems the playing of Wagner represents a defeatist attitude that Walter displays. Clarisse doesn't like this and this is why she denies herself to him for weeks at a time when he plays it. Wagner doesn't represent anything "new", like atonal music for example, rather it takes on the same old form that has been done and re-done. So while Clarisse is trying to get Walter to surround himself with good unique music, she finds him moping around playing the same old tunes.

2 comments:

annieguiler said...

The way that I read into your comment is that you think that Clarisse doesn't like Walter to play Wagner because Wagner isn't representing anything new. But it is quite the opposite. Beethoven created greatness. However, Wagner went on to add more to the traditional style of music that Beethoven had created. He made it a "total work" rather than just creating the music. Wagner was untraditional by creating these huge works that were hardly practical... which could possibly be the reason Clarisse wasn't fond of Wagner.

wrennick said...

I got the impression from class discussion that Wagner was the newer style of music, and certainly that it wasn't popular with a lot of people who liked more traditional styles such as Beethoven. Clarisse only recognized the greatness in the old style and didn't appreciate Walter playing Wagner and experimenting with a new, unproven, unpopular musical style.