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Subject: Albert Innaurato -- "Purity of Heart"
From: Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 17 Oct 2017 23:10:27 -0400
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Niel Rishoi wrote:

>"I wept when I heard the news. Albert… I had such affection for him, his
generosity of spirit in sharing all that he knew about practically
everything in the world, was rarely matched by anyone I have ever known,
ever. But music! Music! He knew about it pretty much more than anyone I
have ever read or known. He loved it, lived it, understood it, and made
others understand it. It wasn’t just his great genius and deep musical
sense you *understood* that he had, but his psychological grasp of the
meanings, intents and purposes of even the most obscure compositions I
don’t think many could equal within hailing distance of the level he did.
His insights were beyond and above – again – than practically anyone I have
ever known. I first got acquainted with him through an opera discussion
group, and I read all of his contributions, enthralled, thrilled, and
captivated. Often, what he wrote put me into this odd state of being deep
in thought: he made you think on whatever he had written. Always there were
revelations, providing me with new, and lasting impressions on many things
I had never considered before. Brilliant, brilliant man, and that word
hardly suffices. Albert was a tormented soul, one of those supreme geniuses
who grasped everything perhaps too well, and found life difficult. He knew
too well the pain of it. But it gave him that beautiful depth of knowledge.
Yet I longed for him to have peace. A lot of the geniuses throughout the
ages had a difficult time in life, and were dissonant figures in society as
a whole. They had dimensions and complexities unknown to the average
person. Different ways of seeing things, different ways of thinking. No one
felt more deeply than he did. No one *cared* about things that were
beautiful, and sacred – art – than he did. I regarded Albert as one of
those kind of people you felt privileged to *be* privy to the kind of mind
and insights he had. What he had to say was so much more valuable than the
behaviors he exhibited from time to time. That is how it is with geniuses
like him; something so exalting and out of this world he had in him, you
didn’t want to miss anything he offered"


This is sweet, but sort of soft-headed.

Do you need to be reminded of the fact that some of the most immoral people
and below-average intellects have possessed not only the finest and most
sensitive musical faculties but the most exquisite musical taste? There is
NO correlation between the faculty of musical appreciation or musical
aptitude or musical affinity and “purity of heart". And there is no
consensus about the relationship between musical understanding and
practical musical competence among philosophers of music.

I think what’s interesting is the (unexamined) idea of what it is to “love”
music. Clearly for Mr. Rishoi this is different from either (a) liking
music (i.e., getting deep and lasting pleasure from it); or (b) knowing a
lot about music (being an expert, studying it). The idea that music can be
a love object, which you could love with “purity of heart,” imagines it
like another person, and imagines the relation as something in a romance
novel..... Kind of adolescent, really.


>"It wasn’t just Albert's great genius and deep musical sense you
*understood* that he had, but his psychological grasp of the meanings,
intents and purposes of even the most obscure compositions I don’t think
many could equal within hailing distance of the level he did. His insights
were beyond and above – again – than practically anyone I have ever known"


Why do you think that any knowledge involved in (or presupposed by) musical
understanding must be potentially exhibitable in the verbal arena? Why do
you care so much about interpretation or description? Music consists of
abstract, non-representational forms. The "meaning" of music resides in the
intrinsic nature of the progressive forms themselves. And the more your
attention becomes focused upon the "intents and purposes" of music
(whatever that is), the less your chances of perceiving in an aesthetic
manner.... There are admittedly different types of musical understanding
but wouldn't you agree that the most interesting or valuable ones have to
do with perceptually following the small-scale features of music and their
segment-to-segment progressions?


>"No one felt more deeply than he did. Albert was one of those supreme
geniuses who grasped everything perhaps too well"


And this sounds like hyperbole as a sort of eulogy for the deceased party.

(I am very surprised that James Jorden "La Cieca" posted your tribute as a
separate entry on his blog)

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