Notebook I (1980/1—1982 — Denisov)/51—100

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The Notebook I (1980/1—1982)/51—100[1]
written by Edison Denisov (1929—1996)
Русская музыка/Russian music. Translated from Russian by D. Smirnov-Sadovsky & Richard Shaw. Source: Denisov MS.
Denisov1975-аватар.jpg

The Notebook I (1980/81—1982)/51—100

51.
‘L’écume’ is the mirror of the collapse of all my hopes.[2]
52.
The best music is that which is not ‘composed’ but ‘heard’.[2]
53.
When a composer hears true music, he hears the voice of God. Probably the Great Saints at a moment of religious ecstasy listened to God too. But He could hardly speak to them in words.[2]
54.
Music is in the hands of such terrible people! Why does so much shit stick to this most beautiful and sublime part of the human spirit?[2]
55.
Around me there is just a desert, without a single human voice.[2]
56.
After ‘L'écume des jours’ I wanted to write two more operas: ‘The Petty Demon’ and ‘The Master and Margarita’[3]. No one except me should touch ‘The Master’—no-one else will succeed.[2]
57.
No sooner had Alfred [Schnittke] written a bad composition (the Piano Quintet), than they immediately began to 'push' and support him. But all the same he’s a very good composer.[2]
58.
In Birger's paintings light emanates from nude bodies. In Vian's novel, when Alise throws off her dress, the room becomes light. Light (la lumière - Licht - light) in my music is also painted with the tenderness of a beautiful female body, and not only in Requiem, but also in «L'écume» and the Pushkin Songs.[4]


59.
I'd really like 'L'écume' to be staged by a director like Bergman or Bunuel, because the surrealism of 'L'écume' is not like Dali's, but something quite different, much more profound and meaningful.

[4]

60.
In the production of 'L'écume', light has to play a huge role. This opera can't be staged on an evenly (and passively) lit stage.[4]
61.
Tenderness and kindness are dying out now. They're no longer needed.[4]
62.
Schubert's music is infinitely rich, tender and inexhaustible (but to a lesser degree than Mozart's).[4]
63.
A series is a good organizing module, especially for texture. [4]
64.
One must be a Master.[4]



65.
[4]



66.
[4]



67.
[4]



68.
‘Die Zauberflöte’ is immortal music for all time. But 'Wozzeck' is still too bound to its own time.[4]
69.
[4]



70.
Rhythm of death in «L'écume»[5] :
Denisov Rhythm of Death.jpg
[4]
71.
[4]
70.
[4]
73.
[6]



74.
[6]



75.
[6]



76.
[6]
77.
[6]
78.
[6]



79.
[6]



80.
[7]
81.
[7]



93.
[8]



94.
[8]



100.
[8]



With my special thanks to Ekaterina Denisova-Bruggeman for the copy of manuscript of the Denisov’s ‘Notes’ (DS).

Notes

  1. Denisov’s notebooks contain 658 aphorisms, penned between 1980 and 1995. They were published in Russian by Valeria Tsenova in ‘Neizvestnyi Denisov’ (Unknown Denisov), Moscow, Kompozitor, 1997, but with many abridgments.
  2. 2,0 2,1 2,2 2,3 2,4 2,5 2,6 ‘Unknown Denisov’, p. 40.
  3. After the novels of Fyodor Sologub and Mikhail Bulgakov.
  4. 4,00 4,01 4,02 4,03 4,04 4,05 4,06 4,07 4,08 4,09 4,10 4,11 4,12 4,13 4,14 ‘Unknown Denisov’, p. 41.
  5. Rhythm of 12th Tableau of the opera «L'écume des jours» — Death of Chick.
  6. 6,0 6,1 6,2 6,3 6,4 6,5 6,6 ‘Unknown Denisov’, p. 42.
  7. 7,0 7,1 ‘Unknown Denisov’, p. 43.
  8. 8,0 8,1 8,2 ‘Unknown Denisov’, p. 44.


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