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Richard Strauss and the Survival of Western Culture
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For a number of years I’ve greatly admired and enjoyed the music of the German composer Richard Strauss (1864-1949). In his early years prior to the First World War, he was considered forward-looking, even musically avant-garde. Indeed, the aged defender of the German classical tradition—and another favorite—Max Bruch (d. 1920), found Strauss’ compositions too advanced and straying from that tradition.

Yet Strauss was formed in the richly productive culture of southern Germany, Bavaria and the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, and, even if he experimented with harmony and vocal lines in his operas Salome (1905) and Elektra (1909), he never really departed from that early musical formation and an inspiration that he drew from his love of his native Bavaria and of imperial Vienna and the brilliant society that accompanied and informed it.[1]There is a superb, two-hour BBC documentary, “Richard Strauss Remembered” (1984), narrated by Sir John Gielgud, with numerous rare photographs and historical film clips of Strauss, his performances and events in his life. Although never released formally on DVD, the private Encore label issued it, and it has been available through the Berkshire Record Outlet. Son of noted musician and horn player in the Bavarian Court Opera Franz Strauss, from an early age, Richard received a thorough and complete musical education, demonstrating extraordinary talent in composition when only in his teens. By the late 1880s and 1890s, his symphonic tone poems, including Don Juan (1888), Death and Transfiguration (1889), and Also Sprach Zarathustra (1896) had established his fame throughout Europe and the United States. But it was later, in opera, that his eventual and permanent renown and preeminence would be secured.

In many ways as I listen to Strauss, I hear a great champion of Western culture, standing athwart the onrushing decline of Western music and art during the first half of the twentieth century.

Recently, I went back to listen in detail to several of Strauss’s vocal works. Re-hearing them, I reflected on their significance and resonance as our society sinks deeper into cultural decay.

Undoubtedly, Strauss’ most famous operatic work is Der Rosenkavalier (Dresden, 1911)—The Cavalier of the Rose. With a superb libretto by the great German dramatist and essayist, Hugo von Hofmannsthal, who shared Strauss’ conservative convictions,[2]Dr. Paul Gottfried has written perceptively on Hugo von Hofmannstahl and his traditionalist and aristocratic vision of Europe, a vision reflected in his dramas and other literary works:

“After the First World War, this literary giant [Hofmannstahl] devoted the remainder of his short life to reviving a popular interest in medieval Austrian culture. His most famous contribution to this effort is the German version of Everyman (Jedermann), which he brought to the stage at Salzburg and which became an annual production there. Despite his outspokenness as an Austrian patriot, Hoffmannsthal called for a “new European ego” in an address in Berne in 1916. The problem of cultural and social dissolution that the War had unleashed seemed to the distinguished author to have affected the entire continent; and in the interwar period, Hoffmannsthal contributed to Karl Anton von Rohan’s “Europäischer Revue,” a leading advocacy publication for European unity, a process that the editor Rohan, an Austrian nobleman, hoped to see take place according to traditionalist and presumably pro-Habsburg principles. In a speech in Munich in January 1927, Hofmannsthal famously called for a “conservative revolution” aimed at bringing back a true European identity. This speech was specifically critical of the Germans for “their productive anarchy as a people.” Hoffmannsthal contrasted the sentimental outpouring to which his German cousins were prone to a “binding principle of form,” which he thought necessary for the restoration of a Europe of nations. Unlike T.S. Eliot, Hofmannsthal wrote as a close friend of royalty as well as someone who was an aesthetic and cultural reactionary.” [Paul Gottfried, “Puritans or Habsburgs,” The Unz Review, May 8, 2007.]
Der Rosenkavalier is a gloriously sentimental story of love and nobility, set in Vienna in the mid-18th century. Like some of Mozart’s stage works, it is essentially a comedy of manners, but one that pays deep and wistful honor to a bygone era and to a cultivated society that seemed to be disappearing even as Strauss was composing it. Indeed, through its comedic action runs, as well, a continuing, not so concealed sense of regret, a sense of loss of those customs, those standards and beliefs, those artistic traditions which made society worth fighting for.

The famous Act II waltz-sequence, with buffoonish character Baron Ochs dancing about, is justly famous. But even more so is the scintillating and wistful final scene, a trio, in which the Marschallin gives up her young lover Octavian to her rival Sophie, with both resignation and a special dignity that characterized the age.

The famous color film from the early 1960s with the legendary Elisabeth Schwarzkopf remains a remarkable work of art in itself.

Der Rosenkavalier, Final Trio, with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Sena Jurinac, Anneliese Rothenberger; Herbert von Karajan conducting the Vienna Philharmonic and Chorus, in a film directed by Paul Czinner, 1962

Another Strauss work, the monumental mythical opera, Die Frau ohne Schatten[“The Wife without a Shadow”], premiered in Vienna in October 1919 right after the utter devastation of World War I (again with von Hofmannsthal the librettist): it could well be a musical metaphor for his very traditional view of marriage, and serve as an affirmation of life as a sacred gift from the Creator, as it is a passionate defense in music of childbirth and motherhood, and per extension, of the family. The story is a combination of fantasy and myth, with strongly symbolic elements that have much to say to our present-day society.

The main character, the Empress, is barren—symbolized by her lack of a shadow—and has every chance to seize a peasant woman’s shadow, thus enabling her to become fertile and have children. But coming to understand the sublime love that exists between the peasant woman and her husband Barak and the importance of children to them, she cannot bring herself to follow through with such an evil act, even when the life of her husband, the Emperor, depends on it. Fathoming this, she summons up moral courage and utters a refusal to take the peasant woman’s shadow: “Ich will nicht” (“I will not”). And because she now understands the importance of the unbreakable marital bond between husband and wife, and the significance of the procreative act and childbirth, miraculously, she too then is granted a shadow and the ability to bear children. The opera ends with a monumental chorus of children yet to be born and with both couples happily embracing. It is a moving story line.

In certain ways, it might serve as a musical emblem for the contemporary pro-life movement.

Strauss, with his full understanding of modern orchestration, was old-fashioned when it came to “tunefulness.” Like the Empress in Frau ohne Schatten, to the deconstructive tendencies of modernism in music, he too uttered: “Ich will nicht!” Strauss uses the full panoply of “modern” instrumentation and soaring melody to make a valiant stand for continuity and tradition in music. In a sense Strauss stood against the early 20th century “Vienna School” of dodecaphonic (“twelve tone”) music of Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, and others, which seemed to over-intellectualize and cut off the artist and separate him from traditional sources of inspiration, while making his creations inaccessible to a vast majority of listeners.

In 1945, after viewing the horrible ruins of his beloved Munich, its famous National Theater opera house and so much more bombed into smithereens, an aged Strauss composed his deeply moving “Metamorphosen” for string ensemble. A meditation on both the insanely destructive power of war and a concomitant musical commentary on Europe’s apparent cultural suicide, “Metamorphosen” also, by its very title, suggests something more, something yet hopeful amid the ruins. For a “metamorphosis” or re-birth, both cultural and spiritual, for Strauss was still possible, despite his own innate longing for a more civilized and decent age now gone.

Four years later, in 1949, Strauss composed his Vier Letze Lieder (“Four Last Songs”) only a few months before his death, and thirty years after the premiere of Die Frau ohne Schatten in Vienna. These four songs are a remarkable tribute not just to his late, autumn-like genius, but a final, glorious tribute to the incredibly vibrant and rich cultural milieu of late Imperial Habsburg Vienna and Wittelsbach Munich where his career flourished. To listen to these short songs is to hear a noble artist of great culture, achievement, and sophistication bidding good-bye to all that is grand and truly estimable in Western tradition.

In the fourth song, Im Abendrot—“In the Gloaming”—(a setting of a poem by Joseph von Eichendorff), Strauss consciously says farewell, not only to his own well-lived life, but also to the civilization with which he has had a passionate love-affair, but now is in steep decline.

The words of the song bespeak what Strauss observes in post-war Europe:

Around us the valleys fold up,
already the air grows dark,
only two larks still soar
wistfully into the balmy sky.
(…)
O spacious, tranquil peace,
so profound in this gloaming.
How tired we are of traveling –
Is this perchance death?

Yet even here in what seems a wistful good-bye to a great and noble culture lost, Strauss injects a quotation from his much earlier tone poem of sixty years past, Death and Transfiguration, indicating that there is always a glimmer of hope for “transfiguration” and eventual renewal, if we strive for it—and if we have faith.

“Im Abendrot,” with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf; Georg Szell conducting the London Symphony

As in Die Frau ohne Schatten, the “Four Last Songs,” and in his operas Der Rosenkavalier and Arabella set in the glory days of Habsburg Vienna, Strauss evoked marvelously a past time of civility, high culture, and grace—a time in which the Christian faith annealed the culture, ironically reminding us in our barren age of just what we have thrown away and lost. And in so doing he joined the battle for our civilization and our future, a battle that continues and encompasses our cultural institutions and traditions, our art, our architecture, our film, our music, and so much more—integral elements that help shape and form us, and without which our lives are made barren and susceptible to disintegration and dissipation.

Too many times our contemporary society does not know how to compare and contrast the real achievements of our historic Western Christian civilization with the present cultural detritus that surrounds and threatens to inundate us.

Recall the great writer Hilaire Belloc’s statement about our civilization now surviving off the fumes of a once-great culture. Is this not where we are in 2021? Our challenge today is to preserve what is being lost, not only our precious faith under such severe assault, but the incomparable historic culture that it produced and in which it flourished. That task is multi-faceted and must encompass those noble and sublime accomplishments that form our true artistic legacy. Strauss, despite his wistful celebration of a golden past, never lost hope for the future. Nor can we.

Notes

[1] There is a superb, two-hour BBC documentary, “Richard Strauss Remembered” (1984), narrated by Sir John Gielgud, with numerous rare photographs and historical film clips of Strauss, his performances and events in his life. Although never released formally on DVD, the private Encore label issued it, and it has been available through the Berkshire Record Outlet.

[2] Dr. Paul Gottfried has written perceptively on Hugo von Hofmannstahl and his traditionalist and aristocratic vision of Europe, a vision reflected in his dramas and other literary works:

“After the First World War, this literary giant [Hofmannstahl] devoted the remainder of his short life to reviving a popular interest in medieval Austrian culture. His most famous contribution to this effort is the German version of Everyman (Jedermann), which he brought to the stage at Salzburg and which became an annual production there. Despite his outspokenness as an Austrian patriot, Hoffmannsthal called for a “new European ego” in an address in Berne in 1916. The problem of cultural and social dissolution that the War had unleashed seemed to the distinguished author to have affected the entire continent; and in the interwar period, Hoffmannsthal contributed to Karl Anton von Rohan’s “Europäischer Revue,” a leading advocacy publication for European unity, a process that the editor Rohan, an Austrian nobleman, hoped to see take place according to traditionalist and presumably pro-Habsburg principles. In a speech in Munich in January 1927, Hofmannsthal famously called for a “conservative revolution” aimed at bringing back a true European identity. This speech was specifically critical of the Germans for “their productive anarchy as a people.” Hoffmannsthal contrasted the sentimental outpouring to which his German cousins were prone to a “binding principle of form,” which he thought necessary for the restoration of a Europe of nations. Unlike T.S. Eliot, Hofmannsthal wrote as a close friend of royalty as well as someone who was an aesthetic and cultural reactionary.” [Paul Gottfried, “Puritans or Habsburgs,” The Unz Review, May 8, 2007.]

(Republished from New English Review by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Arts/Letters • Tags: Classical Music, Richard Strauss 
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  1. Thomasina says:

    “Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

    People do not truly appreciate what they’ve got until they are about to lose it or have lost it. After all, what always was is expected to always be. But a good course requires force if it is to stay straight and true.

    When appreciation is lost and you let down your boundaries or lose your boundaries altogether, you are easy pickings for (((other))) forces to steer you off course. You lose your bearings, you forget where you came from, and pretty soon you’re heading in a foreign direction. You are lost.

    Pain is what brings you back because it provokes emotion and enables you to truly see, possibly for the first time, what you’re losing: tradition, culture, art, music, truth.

    The rage is building; I can feel it. I am very hopeful. There will be new music out of this passion.

    • Thanks: profnasty, St-Germain, Alfred
  2. Excellent piece. I was inspired to refresh my recollection of von Hofmannstahl. Interestingly, according to Wikpedia, he was something of an anglophile:

    “Hofmannsthal saw in English culture the ideal setting for the artist. This was because the English simultaneously admired Admiral Nelson and John Milton, both war heroes and poets, while still maintaining a solid national identity. “In [Hofmannsthal’s] view, the division between artist (writer) and man of action (politician, explorer, soldier) does not exist in England. Britain provides her subjects with a common base of energy which functions as equilibrium, a force lacking in fragmented Germany” (Weiss). This singular and yet pragmatic identity must have appealed to Hofmannsthal to a certain degree due to the large scale fragmentation of Austria at the time, which was witnessing the birth of radical nationalism and anti-Semitism, a nation in which the progressive artist and the progressive politician were growing more different and hostile to each other by the day.”

    Creeps like Heidegger would have despised him (just as Heidegger “despised” both Goethe and Schopenhauer for their “false cosmopolitanism”). As for the rising nationalism and anti-Semitism of Austria, well, we know what happened with that; while Strauss was happy to serve the regime, the Nazi’s would have put his librettist in a camp for fellow “internationalists.” And what would Spencer, Dugin and Moldbug make of that “English culture as an ideal”? Cathedral! Thalassocracy!

    We have sunk so low that those who purport to rescue us no longer understand our own cultural high points.

    • Agree: 36 ulster
    • Disagree: HdC
    • Replies: @HeebHunter
    , @GeeBee
  3. Brilliant article, really enjoyed it.

    • Agree: Dieter Kief, annamaria
  4. Yes, Strauss never gave up hope. The final notes in Im Abendrot are the sound of a bird singing. Some of the most beautiful and moving music one could ever wish to hear.

  5. As an admirer of western culture and people, as someone who is something of an institution as far as western history, literature and cinema is concerned this Indian(dot) is mystified and saddened at the state of affairs of not just America but all of West. Will all of these great accomplishments be forgotten in time? All the great movies such as Blade Runner or Chinatown, all the great works in literature(too many to even quote here-where do I even start), architectural delights, and marvels? Sometimes my anger spills over at you current whites for sitting and doing nothing, at other times at the nature of things in general, and most times at the stupidity and arrogance of the Jew, Negro and my own people(99.8% of whom are retarded, dumb animals with an IQ around 90). Barring the white race the only other people who I think possess a coda are the Japanese. No one else(maybe the Chinese will get there someday by the look of things)

    Some rational thoughts that I can conjure up:

    1.) Get a white ethnostate. A geographical landmass is a must, the very first step. You need a white-only nation or state. Once it is established you will see the majority of whites from Germany, Russia, Sweden wanting to join. Think and implement. Think and implement.

    2.) Remove Silicon Valley from your state and life. The nerd has won, but the nerd-a a passive-aggressive reactionary will take the world down with him. Bill Gates and Mark Zuck are as dangerous, if not more than any Zionist plotter. I can write pages on this -I do not know where to even begin. The internet has destroyed attention spans; it has destroyed cultures. None of the great works will be remembered or archived simply because there is so much being made daily, and the junta is forced to lap it up through streaming and continuously lapping up data.

    Get rid of the internet invasion in every industry-traveling, food or media. Go back to real small business, real community, and real hard physical work. Create great men, create rationality and creativity. Create magnificent buildings and spaceships in the REAL world and inspire the next generation. Keep the computer and the internet to a minimum.

    3.) Remove Capitalism from politics. I admire capitalism but many of the issues facing the world currently is due to capitalism gone berserk. A lot of posters here are obsessed with Zionism but I think it is the nature of capitalism(greed) that will eventually destroy any society if given free reigns and this is what is happening in most democracies today. The focal point of mass immigration isn’t a Jewish assisted thing, in my opinion it had to happen. The people on top don’t care about others, not even their own kind in race or faith. They just want profits. Keep capitalism as the system but heavily regulate and analyze it.

    4.) Remove faith from politics. I was born a Hindu, I am an agnostic. Personally, even if I believed in a higher power I see no reason for religious matters to be mixed with state and politics, It makes zero sense. If you want to enthuse morality do it at the dinner table in the privacy of home.

    5.)Show them all history, and your history. Teach the younger lot about History-great societies such as Egypt and Mesopotamia. Show them giant pictorials of their timeline and how they crumbled. Then teach them about great white men of the past 2000 years. Again I do not know where to start seeing as I have spent twenty-one years reading about them, every day, every moment- From Churchill, Charlamagne and Napoleon to Thayer Mahan, Darwin, and Clint Eastwood. Not what they did but their inherent virtue-the virtue of rationality that is inherent in all white people in varying degrees.

    I am a filmmaker here in Mumbai and writing a screenplay heavily inspired by Metropolis, tentative title MEGAPOLIS. It is in the far future where utopia has finally been created. Giant buildings and bases on Mars. A new race of men who all look and walk alike. They have large foreheads and large piercing eyes. There is no crime, only bliss. But how will this bliss come to be? Technologically, Philosophically and rationaly? It is a work in progress but something tells me I will be heavily inspired by what will happen in the coming few years.

    Good Luck

  6. @RJ Macready

    Thanks for the well wishes, sir. Best to you in India as well; I sincerely hope your country continues to improve and maintains good relations with the US.

    Your third point is frequently overlooked. The discussion seems to be GOP chamber of commerce type corporatism, or AOC/Bernie Sanders calling for punitive taxes on middle class families. In either scenario big corporations win and small businesses/every day people lose. I think the best path forward is a type of “national capitalism” wherein immigration would be severely restricted and international trade would be closely analyzed for costs and benefits to the nation.

    Taking back education is possibly the most important step to accomplish anything, though. In the current system students are taught to despise their ancestors and their history, so why would they strive for great achievements in the future? The burning resentment that is stoked by public education is potentially fatal to our civilization. I’m not hopeful that any major reforms can take place until there is a massive shock to the system. Even then, the usual suspects will be scrambling to consolidate control and rewrite the narrative to suit their own interests.

  7. Anon[363] • Disclaimer says:

    The importance of children? Not according to the Rabbi Jesus, the Jewish progenitor of our precious faith. “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck!” Rabbi Jesus also advised his dupes to cut off their family jewels and, along with the Jew Paul, said to never marry. They both claimed pursuing afterlife fantasies was more important than such “carnal” pursuits like reproduction. Following these Jews’ Biblical word is the very definition of degeneracy, I.e., being unable to generate children.

    Western culture has thrived in spite of the Jew-worship cult called Christianity, whose basic tenet is, “Salvation is from the Jews.” Furthermore, the cultural detritus of which you speak is a direct result of such Jew-worship, as argued in the following article, with an excerpt included:

    “We are witnessing the historical demise of Christianity. When a star dies, in its last phase it expands into a red giant, before it shrinks into a white dwarf. Liberalism is the red giant of Christianity. And just as a red giant is devoid of its core, it expands thousandfold while losing its substance and is about to die…”

    The Red Giant | The West’s Darkest Hour
    By The Conservative Swede
    https://chechar.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/red-giant/

  8. baythoven says:

    It is one of the oddities of opera performance practice that Strauss’s first three operas (Salome, Elektra, Der Rosenkavalier) are performed so frequently to the relative neglect of his later operas. My favorite Strauss operas are Ariadne auf Naxos, Die Frau Ohne Schatten, Arabella, and Die Liebe der Danae (just listing them chronologically as it’s hard to rank them.) The almost utter neglect of Die Liebe der Danae is incomprehensible. A wonderful old 50’s recording of this opera (Wiener Staatsoper, Clemens Krauss conducting, with Annelies Kupper and Paul Schoeffler) was available on youtube for some time, but alas, I find it’s not there now. The few other recordings really don’t cut it.

    It is amazing how even into old age, Strauss’s musical inspiration never waned. Jewels among his late orchestral works are his horn (2nd) and oboe concertos.

  9. Richard Strauss will always remind me of 2001 A Space Odyssey-aka, all things considered the greatest motion picture ever made

    • Replies: @omegabooks
  10. I LOVE the first minute or so of Don Juan, but I HATE the ending.

    I always thought it was a terrible waste that Richard Strauss and Walt Disney never teamed up. This is said without any sarcasm intended. Strauss’ tone poems always give me the impression that they’re just begging to be used as background music for Disney animation films. Just imagine if Der Rosenkavalier could be made into a Disney animation film. The heroine could be a fat woman and the hero a skinny guy. 😛

    • Replies: @Prester John
  11. Knowing the music of Richard Strauss, one realises how much Hollywood and television music composers have been riffing off of, and ‘borrowing’ from, his work ever since

    Tho not one of his most-cited and praised pieces, yet perhaps one of the most immediately enjoyable for all, is Richard Strauss’ short ‘Festive Prelude for Organ and Orchestra’ from 1913, as European civilisation was in its last moment of great optimism, before the ugly ravaging 20th century brother wars began. Quite short at around 12 minutes, it is the full ‘R. Strauss’ that cinema music writers cannot get out of their heads

    • Thanks: SeekerofthePresence
    • Replies: @CelestiaQuesta
  12. Dumbo says:
    @RJ Macready

    It is in the far future where utopia has finally been created. Giant buildings and bases on Mars. A new race of men who all look and walk alike. They have large foreheads and large piercing eyes. There is no crime, only bliss. But how will this bliss come to be?

    It will never come to be. People seem to forget that things never improve globally, that improvements in one area (i.e. technology or material comfort) are balanced by regress in others (i.e. the arts, society). Also that it is not in human nature (or even possible in this universe) for people to be happy and content and to be “no crime, only bliss”. There will always be crime, war, poverty, disease and other bad things. Always. At least, here on Earth. (read Pascal. or even Schopenhauer)

    That said, I agree with your point about the Internet. Working and living in the real or analog world is better. And tech-nerds like Bezos, Gates and Zuck have too much power as it is already.

  13. vinteuil says:

    Richard Strauss was notably generous to his contemporaries.

    He is supposed to have said of Sibelius something like: “I am more skillful, but he is greater.”

    And he recognized the brilliance of Elgar’s *Dream of Gerontius*, toasting him as “the first English progressive musician.”

    Unfortunately, none of his surviving recordings do much for his reputation as a conductor.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  14. vinteuil says:

    Undoubtedly, Strauss’ most famous operatic work is Der Rosenkavalier

    I respectfully disagree. For as long as Strauss is remembered, it will be more for Salome than for Rosenkavalier.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  15. For several centuries, Europe served as the Ancient Greece to the American Rome — the source of most of the most important cultural inspirations, despite a certain underlying criticism of ‘effeminacy’ and ‘dissolution.’

    The 20th Century’s Modernism and Postmodernism was similar to Rome’s sometimes successful but more usually inferior attempts to incorporate and ultimately replace the influence of Greek culture. Despite proclaiming a concrete Roman character, Rome was often just a hodgepodge of various assimilated Mediterranean influences (a bland but somehow also nationalistic multiculturalism) until Christianity gave its thinkers and artists a more or less focused and unified point of departure.

    Which would indicate some of what the future holds for the European triumphs of the Renaissance to the 20th Century — a weak acknowledgment of its importance, with a handful of individuals remembered and very little in the way of context or continuity. At best, there could be another Renaissance after the Dark Age that looms. But it doesn’t look likely from here, as the Empire is taking so much down with it as it falls.

  16. @vinteuil

    There is a clip of Strauss conducting (rather like a bored metronome) and at one point he even takes out his watch to see how much longer he has to put up with it all.

    He was indeed generous: he praised Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel” as an authentic German masterpiece”, which is precisely what it is.

  17. @vinteuil

    Absolutely.

    And it also flies in the face of Cathey’s strange idea that Strauss was some sort of a Christian avatar.
    He was a typical decadent of his time and place; this staggeringly brilliant work proves nothing if not that.
    But the broken heart of the Four Last Songs demands that even the darkest reactionary (me) forgives and embraces him.

    • Replies: @vinteuil
    , @dfordoom
  18. vinteuil says:
    @Old Palo Altan

    OPA, whenever I see that you’ve replied to me, I down another drink, in expectation of a short sharp rebuke – so what a relief that “absolutely” was.

    Yes – what can one say about the last few minutes of Salome but “staggeringly brilliant?”

    The perverted slithering of the violins as she kisses the dead lips of the prophet…

    In a healthy society, the Opera would have been banned and the composer imprisoned.

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  19. @RJ Macready

    Yep, that opening movement from “Zarathustra” in 2001 A Space Odyssey is awesome. Still my fave classical music in a movie is from Handel’s “Messiah,” the Hallelujah chorus to close the first part of “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” Having grown up with classic rock (and having written a novel about an 80s-90s ‘prodigal’ rock band (https://omegabooksnet.com) I now find classical music (as well as bluegrass and zydecko) to be my fave music genres (as gangsta rap/hip-hop garbage has replaced rock…I guess because rock is mostly white, right?).

  20. Smith says:

    Western culture i.e. Protestatianism and Catholicism are cancerous.

    Free your thoughts and accept Tengriism, the OG faith of Eurasia.

    And yes, the greek gods, nordic gods, mongolian gods, indian gods, chinese gods, japanese gods, vietnamese gods, all are connected, all come from the Sky/Mountain/Heaven/the High Place.

    • Replies: @HallParvey
  21. @RJ Macready

    The Hindu has it all figured out. An ethnostate? Why did no one think of this before?

  22. Mephisto says:

    Survival? Not world domination.
    How far you have fallen.

  23. dfordoom says: • Website
    @RJ Macready

    Remove Silicon Valley from your state and life. The nerd has won, but the nerd-a a passive-aggressive reactionary will take the world down with him. Bill Gates and Mark Zuck are as dangerous, if not more than any Zionist plotter. I can write pages on this -I do not know where to even begin. The internet has destroyed attention spans; it has destroyed cultures.

    I agree very strongly on that point. The internet has not been all bad, but it has been mostly bad. And it’s the nature of the internet itself, and especially the nature of social media, that is the problem. Even with good people rather than bad people running it the internet would still be a mostly destructive force.

    Remove Capitalism from politics. I admire capitalism but many of the issues facing the world currently is due to capitalism gone berserk. A lot of posters here are obsessed with Zionism but I think it is the nature of capitalism(greed) that will eventually destroy any society if given free reigns and this is what is happening in most democracies today.

    I agree with that as well.

  24. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Old Palo Altan

    He was a typical decadent of his time and place

    One of the things worth mentioning about the Decadents of the 1890s is that they were often politically reactionary, and had a deep and abiding contempt for democratic mass culture. To a considerable extent they saw themselves as being on the side of tradition and at war with modernism and the modern world. They tended to admire aristocratic culture.

    The association of decadence with the Left is a more recent thing.

    • Agree: Miro23
    • Replies: @Emslander
    , @Old Palo Altan
  25. Al-Bandar says:

    Staring at the beauties of my Alpes, I cannot quote the Alpensinfonie.

  26. John Hagan says: • Website

    Recently, I went back to listen in detail to several of Strauss’s vocal works. Re-hearing them, I reflected on their significance and resonance as our society sinks deeper into cultural decay

    Well noted Boyd! As a painter I felt the same as photography destroyed many of the classical skills of the painter craftsman or craftswoman of a painting golden age. An era followed with painters akin to an individual not trained as a carpenter deciding to make chairs. Thankfully that is comming to an end and a realization that the likes of Bouguereau or Rubens cannot be replaced with a photo.

    An example of why this happening you can get an idea from this short vide.

    I do sincerely hope Boyd that music will make an even faster comehack.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @vinteuil
  27. Polistra says:
    @RJ Macready

    Get a white ethnostate. A geographical landmass is a must, the very first step.

    We had this, and much more, many times over. But if we have this, and in our natural magnanimity of spirit permit ‘ethnic’ migrants in more than tiny numbers, the present situation will repeat itself until–as now–there’s no place left to run. Ethnic being in quotes because it’s a particular sort–which take great pride in their separateness and in their cunning–that result in the destruction of any culture to which they attach.

    Media propaganda takes many forms–most of it appears embedded in ‘entertainment’–but in our present society it’s almost entirely pernicious. Permitting control of that media to rest in the hands of a tiny tribe bent on domination and destruction is more than enough to wreck any society. For they will bend the minds of the trusting and naïve masses, to do their bidding.

    As you note, the cultural and technological accomplishments of European peoples are unsurpassed. But European countries, and those peopled by their descendants, are now seen as places which must be overrun by Africans and Asians. Never mind that Africans and Asians have their own homelands. They must have ours too. Why is this?

    • Replies: @HeebHunter
  28. Mikael_ says:
    @RJ Macready

    Remove faith from politics.

    One cannot remove faith from politics. One can only replace one political faith with another. Currently we [in the Western world] are following the Church of Progressivism. How’s that turning out, so far?

    even if I believed in a higher power

    You’re approaching it wrong. One doesn’t believe in higher power, but in a higher/highest value. That value has no power by itself, it only can gain some through its followers.

    So what I’m seeing here, you’re still partially stuck in the framework of ‘Modernity’ and not even realizing it. Good luck to you, to free your mind from those shackles and then find the deepest wisdoms.

    • Agree: HeebHunter
    • Thanks: Emslander
  29. Miro23 says:

    [1] There is a superb, two-hour BBC documentary, “Richard Strauss Remembered” (1984), narrated by Sir John Gielgud, with numerous rare photographs and historical film clips of Strauss, his performances and events in his life. Although never released formally on DVD, the private Encore label issued it, and it has been available through the Berkshire Record Outlet.

    It’s also on YouTube:

    There’s a lot to reflect on here.

    • Thanks: SeekerofthePresence
  30. @RJ Macready

    From Churchill, Charlamagne and Napoleon to Thayer Mahan, Darwin, and Clint Eastwood

    churchill was the one bringing down the final blow with it’s drunkeness and bloodthirst, and clint was another degenerate (((hollywood)) actor. Just take a look at their personal life and “legacy”. The fruits they left the world are rotten.

    Tsch… there is almost no modern clean slate to work from.

  31. @Polistra

    As you note, the cultural and technological accomplishments of European peoples are unsurpassed. But European countries, and those peopled by their descendants, are now seen as places which must be overrun by Africans and Asians. Never mind that Africans and Asians have their own homelands. They must have ours too. Why is this?

    Because the descendants are unworthy. But that isn’t the most important part. They don’t want to fight to keep what they have. Their minds and philosophies are completely putrid. No self respecting immigrant will want to integrate into what is basically a negrified “culture” lorded over by kikes and faggots. And the opportunistic hordes will just roll over the weak, sick natives, just as in history.

    Repentance will solve all problems, but almost everyone here just wants to keep the 1945 mythos running. So touche, we are shit out of luck.

    China, look at us and learn the final lesson. Get rid of the traitors, the kikes and the faggots. Forever. And the stars might be yours, should you choose to.

    • Agree: Emslander
    • Replies: @Jake
    , @Mulga Mumblebrain
  32. @James J O'Meara

    You know fuck all about Germany, you island monkey.

    Go bash another piece of “nazi crime”. Maybe those billionaire who supported (((Brexit))) will move all those foreign factories back to the monkey island instead.

    • Agree: GeeBee, HdC
  33. Anonymous[661] • Disclaimer says:
    @John Hagan

    Thanks for that film, John Hagan! I’ve kept a number of digital photos of Bouguereau’s paintings on my phone for years. When the mood strikes, as it often does, I pull one up to remind myself that beauty still exists.

    • Replies: @John Hagan
  34. gotmituns says:

    I’m a blue collar guy from head to toe. I like different kinds of music but not current music for the most part, but Strauss and the other classical composers are my favorite music now. The go to the core of my existence. All great music. Thanks for the article.

  35. All this yerning for the good old days and chivalrous past, for culture, refinement, high arts and high society.

    But forgetting the days long gone, when peasants tilled the earth and filled their bellies with the fruits of their toil. And served their kings and clans willingly.

    Before their land was enclosed – that’s to say stolen – and given to Nobles and Barrons of the relm, making slum-dwelling poorpers of them… fodder for the industries of the modern age, to build empires for the crowned heads.

    And fund the refinement and culture of which we now remenice, with melencholy in our eyes.

    The Heads which gave them “poor laws”, and workhouses, and debtors prisons. Which, to vitriolic music and flag-waving pomp, stole children from mothers to be sent to the collonies of the New World as “orphans”, endebted to The Church.

    And in the name of a man who blessed the poor and the meek to heavenly, but not earthly rewards, sent them to fight and die in the conquering of the world, to bring cultural refinement to the descendants of Rishis. Oh the irony!

    —————————————–
    I appreciate this article. I really do. The sense of love and loss felt by Strauss in his time, and felt by us in ours, as we witness “the dying of the light” (thank you Thomasina. I agree; let us NOT go gentle into that good night!) is poignant and painful.

    But if we’re to create something better from the ruins of western culture, then we must not close our eyes to the dark side of that culture, looking back through rosy colour glasses so we can’t see the bloodstains.
    Or we risk repeating history as the post-modern Heads, crownd by billions of ill-gotten fiat, attempt to reset us as their permanet slave-class, as a possibly mythical Christ is crusified once again, at the behest of the money-changes.

    Better not to weep for the pomp and the glory of a high-culture barely known or understood by those upon whos dying it was forged.
    Sure, we may appreciate today the art, the music the science, the architecture, even the histories of modernity. But let’s not forget the cultures which it destroyed as it came into being.

    My (our?) ancestors were clansmen and peasants and warriors before they were subjected to the tyranny of despotic Christian rulers, whos greed allowed “gods chosen” to conquer all by stealth.

    On remembering the past, remember ALL of the past, so to stand today in Truth!

    ——————————————–
    P.S. Qudos to The Unz Review for publishing such wide-ranging content to include the sublime and the rediculous. This is one hell of a platform, Mr Unz. Sincere ongratulations!

  36. Jake says:
    @RJ Macready

    It is impossible to remove religious faith, or, indeed, faith in anything, from politics. The attempt to do so has guaranteed the horrors we have all around us. Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, both noted in your post as examples of the monsters ruining civilization, have faith in their atheism and their own wills to power, and they place their faiths central to all that they do.

    If you think anything approaching the possibility of ‘utopia’ exists in this world, then you are part of the problem. If your planned film does not proceed from the knowledge that the drive to make utopia always becomes a real world Hell, then your film will be worse than a waste of time.

  37. Mikael_ says:
    @Anon

    From the article you linked to:

    And Christian ethics means the inversion of values. So it’s the weak that is considered good, while the strong is considered evil.

    What an utter failure in understanding.

    ‘Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth’ doesn’t mean weak men are to be admired. The “meek” in it’s original meaning are actually strong men, who own swords and know how to use them, but -by their own decision- choose to keep them sheathed.

    But one has to give some (grumbling) respect to the sociopath who came up with the whole inversion confusion argument.
    I let an Orthodox Archpriest speak for me:
    “[Christian] God can be anything but power. Christianity presents a paradoxical view, of God as weakness. God is frailty. That’s his glory. He doesn’t need to make big noises.”

    This shows even the author of westsdarkesthour.com is totally stuck within the framing set by his enemies.

  38. Emslander says:
    @dfordoom

    One of the things worth mentioning about the Decadents of the 1890s is that they were often politically reactionary, and had a deep and abiding contempt for democratic mass culture. To a considerable extent they saw themselves as being on the side of tradition and at war with modernism and the modern world. They tended to admire aristocratic culture.

    It’s about time that we in America face the music. Democracy always leads to tyranny, as Socrates famously declared, but, on its way to tyranny, it embraces destructive mindless rot. Can’t we all hold up the current political situation as our final awful round of dystopia.

    I don’t know what replaces us, but it has to be a kind of ordering from above. Germany, not Europe, was the high point of western civilization. Contrast the “heroic” American B-17 crews of post-war movies with the purity of the culture they were bent on destroying for no military reason.

    As an example, study the hateful bombing of Monte Cassino, under the protection of the great German General Kesselring, on orders from some Canadian Protestant Neanderthal Colonel who happened to be on weekend command or something.

  39. Jake says:
    @HeebHunter

    China’s decline definitely included, featured, the fact that for centuries men buggering boys and castrates – and in China, castration took the penis as well as the testicles – was not merely acceptable; it was seen as normal. When Europeans began pushing into China, the Chinese elites were as decadent as Hell. They openly preyed on the peoples they ruled, including sexually, on a grand scale.

    Chinese leaders today look at leaders of the West/NATO as being akin to the elites of the most decadent phases of Chinese history.

    • Replies: @Katrinka
  40. BorisMay says:

    Always be a little bit cold and slightly hungry if you wish to be healthy, was a saying when I was young.

    Everyone today is over fed and lives in central heated/air conditioned housing these days. No one seems to be healthy either as a result.

    While Richard Strauss’ Last Four Songs is one of my favourite works, it is representative of a system built on exploitation of the poor, the weak and the vulnerable that has always made a few thousand people fabulously rich and impoverished billions in their wake.

    The collapse of the west is due to the impoverishment of billions, because, quite simply, why would anyone in their right mind support the 2195 billionaires and their couple of million millionaire hangers on.

    No matter how great the culture is there is no point, for the man on the street wondering where his next meal is coming from, in supporting an utterly corrupt system.

    While many on here point their finger at the Jew, there are many gentiles like JP Morgan, Richard Branson and the Clintons that are equally guilty.

    It is the abject greed, the pure evil of the rich like Bill Gates, George Soros and the Rothschild mafia and their attitude they are chosen and everyone else is a soulless dog to be exploited that removes any desire to maintain or support a culture built on exploitation, which is the true foundation of music by R Strauss, Sibelius or any other classical composer you wish to glorify.

    While the article is fun to read, it avoids the vast exploitation of the Austro Hungarian empire which provided the wealth to support this endeavour.

    Essentially the people of Europe are worn out and devoid of any desire to support a dissolute Establishment that exploits its people to the nth degree at every opportunity.

    The west was destroyed by its greed, and it was the Establishment’s greed that made it borrow from the Jew money lender using their property, land and people as security. When the landed gentry failed to pay their debts, the people they once exploited were handed to a new master, the Jew money lenders, who only continued the exploitation the people had endured for millennia.

    Commentators on here really need to get things straight in their heads. Ordinary folk have ALWAYS been exploited by their rulers. It is not a new phenomenon.

    As slaves we never had any rights. Industrial times brought a few privileges like Bank Holidays, Christmas holidays and for the middle classes summer holidays. These were given by our masters and we fooled ourselves that these were ‘rights’.

    Now our masters are returning us to slavery again. That is how it has always been. Sad that you are all so deluded you can not see this.

    If you want freedom you are going to have to fight for it again, with guns and battles and the death of millions of you.

    • Agree: Agent76
  41. I just hate to be a Sunday morning smart-ass, but that guy on the postage stamp could easily be retouched into Al Sharpton.

    • Replies: @CelestiaQuesta
  42. gotmituns says:
    @BorisMay

    there are many gentiles like JP Morgan, Richard Branson and the Clintons
    ———————————————————————————–
    They are only the fronts put in place by the jews. People like Henry Ford saw the game for what it was and called a spade a spade.

  43. GeeBee says:
    @James J O'Meara

    We have sunk so low precisely because of the triumph of those who have succeeded in making ‘radical nationalism and anti-Semitism’ into ‘thought crimes’ and ‘hate speech’. As for ‘Creeps like Heidegger’, they of course stood against the forces that have brought us low, and in defence of the last, brave but doomed attempt to stand up for the culture whose passing Richard Strauss so bitterly lamented. Heeb Hunter calls you an ‘island monkey’: I too am English, but I am under no illusions about the criminal behaviour of our land in acting as midwife to today’s nightmare – and while we’re about it, Milton was part of that movement that has seen Parliament triumph over monarchy. Or to put it another way, the merchant’s triumph over Traditionalism. Anthony Ludovici summed this up rather well, in his A Defence of Aristocracy (second edition, 1933) in which he wrote:

    The Grand Rebellion, or the so called Civil War of the seventeenth-century, was as much the first struggle between the new, vulgar spirit of the nation and the old, declining better taste of the nation as it was a contest between Puritan and High Churchman, or of King and Commons. I submit that it was on the battlefields of Edgehill, Marston Moor and Naseby that trade first advanced in open hostility against tradition; quantity against quality; capitalistic industry against agriculture and the old industry of the Guilds; vulgarity against taste; machinery against craftsmanship; grey and mournful Puritanism against cheerful and ruddy Paganism — in fact, plebeian democracy against aristocracy.

    In short, you can stick your Pavlovian criticism of the twentieth-century movements that sought to arrest that decline where they belong: in the world of ‘grey and mournful Puritanism’ where the sun never shines.

    • Thanks: HeebHunter
    • Replies: @HeebHunter
    , @Miro23
  44. Pete59 says:
    @RJ Macready

    Interesting commentary. Coming from a family that emigrated from Scotland to the then Colonies in the 1750s I think your ideas are not anywhere near American, because essentially. you are not American. If you want to better understand America read American history and understand and embrace the concept of Liberty. You also should consider reading the Bible. This idea of removing God, that is the Christian triune God, from public discourse is not American. The very concept is anathema to Americans.

    • Replies: @HeebHunter
  45. @Marshall Lentini

    An ethnostate? Why did no one think of this before?
    Rebirth of Europe: The Ethnofuturist Manifesto
    Ruuben Kaalep and August Meister
    Materialistic atheism, unable to place the individual in the wider context of the universe as a divine place and creative source, would lead to the wholesale atrophy of culture and the regression of humanity.
    Professor Robert Carter, a Nishitani scholar, points out that
    [Nishitani’s] strategy is not to advocate a return to the past, for he is adamant that the past is forever frozen and out of reach. Nevertheless, as human beings we carry the past with us in so many ways, and it is our task to breathe new life and significance into tradition, as it is shaped and reshaped by science, technology, and the cultures of the West.
    … Nishitani believes that what is required of us in the modern and postmodern world is that we simultaneously destroy and rebuild our traditional way of life in the light of the changes brought about by the secular age in which we find ourselves. Yet we must not simply join the secularists who have abandoned religion and much of tradition.
    https://www.theoccidentalobserver.net/2021/04/08/ethnofuturism-a-review-of-rebirth-of-europe/

    • Replies: @Sean
  46. @Pete59

    They did abandon the Lord. So they are receiving what they truly deserve. The Lord will always love them and their salvation is always on the table. Just have to put that Repentance coin into the little piggybank . But that is too much for the amerimutts.

  47. @GeeBee

    in fact, plebeian democracy against aristocracy

    .

    Beautifully written. The elites, regardless of their merits or crimes, are the reflection of the populace. Can you imagine a subhuman like (((zuckerberg))) or bezos being close in good society back in the age of Chivalry?
    Or like half the present “knights” of England being even considered for a position as village guard, much less ennobled? The scroundel scum, cthonic degenerates they are?

    I don’t hate England. I hate what it has become during the birth of modernity. The responsibility fall on all of us now. The descendants of criminals who would rather burn in hell than to admit their wrong, and the beaten cucks who cling on tragedies of almost a 100 years ago.

    Everyday I wake up and I hope they just crash the western ship already, so we can actually have a new beginning, not a (((great reset))).

    • Agree: Unpersoned by fb
  48. @BorisMay

    If you want freedom you are going to have to fight for it again, with guns and battles and the death of millions of you.

    Hear, hear.
    It is coming to a head. If the goyim in muttmerica still put faith in subhumans like (((trump))), fuentey or anyone but a real ride or die candidate in 2024 instead of letting lead fly, we know it is over.

    Same for Europe, just sooner.
    The land is crowded. The economy is now officially gone. If the goyim of Europe endure one more year of this without action, then it is officially time to defect to China with everything you can offer. Who knows, the Chinese might employ you to work in their Oceanian tropical colonies. Which are literally paradise.

    I wouldnt go to Apefrica though. I dont want to live having to think whether I have to unload my guns on bandits everyday.

    But if the boogaloo starts, I implore everyone to stay in their country and fight. I promise it would make your life whole. Can’t wait to curb stomp (((klaus schwab))). Fucking demonic cunt.

  49. Lucy says:

    Thank you, Mr Unz for publishing this article and to those who extended the glorious overview of Richard Strauss and his life’s work. You’ve made my afternoon.

    Since I have refused the genetic injection, I may not be travelling for a while, and the closest opera house is miles away.

  50. Sean says:
    @Odd Rabbit

    An essay on the history of civil society: Ferguson, Adam, 1723-1816.

    THE boasted refinements, then, of the polished age, are not divested of danger. They open a door, perhaps, to disaster, as wide and accessible as any of those they have shut. If they build walls nd ramparts, they enervate the minds of those who are placed to defend them; if they form disciplined armies, they reduce the military spirit of entire nations; and by placing the sword where they have given a distaste to civil establishments, they prepare for mankind the government of force

    Heidegger:_

    What threatens man in his very nature is the . . . view that man, by the peaceful release, transformation, storage, and channeling of the energies of physical nature, could render the human condition . . . tolerable for everybody and happy in all respects.

    Religion becomes something different amid peace and plenty. Things are getting better for people in the West, in the Sixties there were still houses in Ireland without toilets indoor or out. Those days are long gone and the Church is dying. Russia having villages that look like they are something out of the 19th century (without indoor plumbing) may well be a boon.

    Yet we must not simply join the secularists who have abandoned religion and much of of religion that flourished when there are no external enemies threatening the homeland tradition

    Secularism is a type of religion and morality that flourishes among the elite of advanced states after they become successful. It is interesting that the assertion of Byzantium’s state authority over that of the degenerated church (ie Byzantine Iconoclasm – “relics thrown into the sea … Monks were apparently forced to parade in the Hippodrome, each hand-in-hand with a woman, in violation of their vows”) came after major reverses at the hands of Islam. We need the Four Horsemen: a war against a near peer.

  51. @Smith

    Free your thoughts and accept Tengriism, the OG faith of Eurasia.

    Nah. Worship the One True God. The Flying Spaghetti Monster. Unlike all the others, who look like your great uncle Mortimer, he has eight legs and a massive eye to watch you with.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
    , @Smith
  52. Strauss sonata for violin and piano op. 18 is a musical treasure.

    • Thanks: SeekerofthePresence
  53. Didn’t Strauss get denasified after the war? Yet one of his last pieces requiem for fallen warrior refers to whom? Roosevelt or Hitler?

  54. Agent76 says:

    Mar 24, 2016 America: Freedom To Fascism

    A documentary that explores the connection between income tax collection and the erosion of civil liberties in America.

    “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” Johann Sebastian Bach

  55. Classical music concerts have all gone virtual since the plandemic. I tried watching two virtual concerts to support my local symphony orchestra, and those turned out to be a mess. Even before the plandemic, the only people you see at classical/opera concerts are grey haired old farts and hags dressed up listening to the same repertoire performed and conducted by your favorite chosenite. The best part about attending one of these concerts is, you rarely see black or brown folks. I enjoy listening to real acoustic instruments played by real musicians, and it doesn’t get any better than going to a Wagner Opera.
    Last I heard, Richard Wagner’s music is still banned from being performed in Israel. Its only a matter of time when (((they))) will convince the world to do the same everywhere. They’ve done a hell of a job silencing any question critical of the tribe.
    So rap and twerk and have some purple drank, Snoop Dog Butt iz da tang.

    • Replies: @HeebHunter
    , @theMann
  56. @Jim Bob Lassiter

    Like so many of us,we are suffering from advanced stages of negro fatigue. It’s gotten to the point where we only see negro replacement in white culture.

  57. @brabantian

    Hollywood’s (((Film Actors Guild))) composers get away with ripping off great German music composers via public domain, expired copyrights.
    This is how ((they))) steal your music and claim it for themselves.

  58. dfordoom says: • Website
    @RJ Macready

    Remove faith from politics. I was born a Hindu, I am an agnostic. Personally, even if I believed in a higher power I see no reason for religious matters to be mixed with state and politics, It makes zero sense. If you want to enthuse morality do it at the dinner table in the privacy of home.

    I agree. Mixing religion and politics is bad for politics and it’s bad for religion.

  59. dfordoom says: • Website
    @HallParvey

    Nah. Worship the One True God. The Flying Spaghetti Monster. Unlike all the others, who look like your great uncle Mortimer, he has eight legs and a massive eye to watch you with.

    But he’s no match for Cthulhu. Cthulhu would eat him for breakfast.

  60. Miro23 says:
    @GeeBee

    Or to put it another way, the merchant’s triumph over Traditionalism. Anthony Ludovici summed this up rather well, in his A Defence of Aristocracy (second edition, 1933) in which he wrote:

    The Grand Rebellion, or the so called Civil War of the seventeenth-century, was as much the first struggle between the new, vulgar spirit of the nation and the old, declining better taste of the nation as it was a contest between Puritan and High Churchman, or of King and Commons. I submit that it was on the battlefields of Edgehill, Marston Moor and Naseby that trade first advanced in open hostility against tradition; quantity against quality; capitalistic industry against agriculture and the old industry of the Guilds; vulgarity against taste; machinery against craftsmanship; grey and mournful Puritanism against cheerful and ruddy Paganism — in fact, plebeian democracy against aristocracy.

    But then gotmituns:

    People like Henry Ford saw the game for what it was and called a spade a spade.

    There seems to be a conflict here. On the face of it, Ford was the most successful of capitalistic manufacturer/merchants with no interest in unchanging aristocratic traditionalism (reaction) – also something of a Puritan. Ref. Henry Ford “My Life and Work”(1922).

    However, look closer, and he did act a good deal within the (older and genuine) aristocratic ethos:

    Quantity against quality – He paid a great deal of attention to quality (sometimes years prior to production) and could mass produce it at a low price = quantity. The quantity came from quality.

    Capitalistic industry against agriculture and the old industry of guilds – He started in agriculture but switched to engineering – and generated many more higher skilled well paid jobs. He defeated the automobile manufacturers monopoly association (Selden Patent suit) and wanted nothing to do with guild type monopolies.

    Vulgarity against taste – He explicitly said that his cars were designed to meet the daily needs of 95% of people. He wasn’t interested in the yearly fashion cycle or expensive handmade luxury products. Good taste in a simpler sort of way.

    Machinery against craftsmanship – He was the ultimate craftsman in engineering and produced superb products. It’s just that his craftsmanship involved design, machinery and materials which could be adapted to mass production.

    Grey and mournful Puritanism against ruddy Paganism – He came across as Puritan because he was mostly interested in his engineering/ products/ business rather than decadent aristocratic type pastimes (which he could easily have afforded).

    In fact, Plebeian democracy against aristocracy – No doubt that he was a talented “Plebeian” and said clearly that a society goes nowhere under the dead hand of a traditionalist aristocracy – but equally (and even worse) it heads into terrible trouble under finance capitalism.

    He regarded finance capitalists as a crowd of poisonous grifters – often organized groups of Jews – that he referred to as “The World’s Foremost Problem” and wrote about in his book, “The International Jew”.

  61. @CelestiaQuesta

    Last I heard, Richard Wagner’s music is still banned from being performed in Israel. Its only a matter of time when (((they))) will convince the world to do the same everywhere

    Nope.

    The world would get rid of them filthy kikes before that happens.

  62. Western culture has been under attack by the zionist kabal for centuries but only in the last decades has the attack been more open and more deadly as evidenced by the covid-19 scam and psyop with the genocide vaccines being pushed on the world by the zionist kabal.

    People need to wake up, covid-19 and the genocide vaccines will destroy not only western culture , but our lives, we are at a tipping point in the history of the world.

  63. Thank you Mr. Cathey, your wonderful work reminded me of my brief two year stay in beautiful Wien in the mid seventies. Watching kids going to school in the morning carrying violins, electric tram rides around the circle, St. Stevens Cathedral, Vienna State Opera House, Musicfreinsal. Classical Music, opera and Waltz played a big part in the lives of Viennese.

  64. @vinteuil

    I can still remember my shocked attention the first time I heard the opening bars of this miracle of a work – a demonic miracle perhaps, but one nevertheless.

    Allowed to go ahead in Dresden, the opera was banned in Vienna, further proof that, for all the flourishing decadence of fin de siecle Austria, its monarchy and bureaucracy were still sound.

    The German text Strauss used was the work of Hedwig Lachmann, wife of Gustav Landauer, Jewish anarchist and revolutionary. Their grandson was Mike Nichols. Q.E.D.?

  65. Heart moving article.

    Lark

    I was working in a corn field and suddenly I did see a lark sitting on the nest. Lark is one of the birds that that makes nest on the ground. I went around not to disturb it.
    Next day early as I went to work I did see lark flying high and high above the nest than it did stay at the same position high up and started to sing. My consciousness was telling me that he is giving praise to God.
    ……………………………………………………………………….
    I never did see Lark before, and I never have seen Lark after.

  66. theMann says:
    @CelestiaQuesta

    Midland Odessa Symphony Chorale, MOSC, puts on something like 8 concerts a year, mostly at Wagned-Noel Center, and they are very well attended. And they are back to actual concerts, albeit with restrictions. Admittedly, mostly older people going to them, but reduced/free entry for students, so you do see some..

    If Classical Music can get good turnouts in sparsely populated West Texas, there is no excuse for failing anywhere.

    • Replies: @CelestiaQuesta
  67. @dfordoom

    It was a decadence of a true elite, whose members, in large part, renounced what was truly decadent in their work and turned to religion as the tragic realities of life hit them personally. This was especially true in England and France.

    Today’s decadence is that of an entire civilisation, and presages its end. Like everything of the Left, it has no grounding in truth nor any desire for it. It has produced nothing of value and indeed works for the end of the very concept.

    Its practitioners will not to be saved.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  68. very nice tribute to one of the greatest 20th century composers.

    Strauss’s opera Electra is – along with Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concert0

    one of the 2 greatest musical statements ever made:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=GGnD-JkvWaA

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  69. ricpic says:

    So even in his career Strauss was looking back.

    Looking back, “standing athwart the onrushing decline of Western music and art during the first half of the twentieth century.”

    How tired we are of traveling–

    Perhaps Strauss was tired from the very start.

    Douglas Murray comes back to this “tiredness” over and over again.

    “Europe is tired” is his constant refrain.

    Is there any overcoming such cultural exhaustion?

    No.

    • Replies: @HeebHunter
    , @Miro23
  70. @ricpic

    That is normal. The industrial revolution was a mean, and it is now an end.
    We are on the eve of automation, of course there isn’t a need for teeming masses of low IQ drones.
    Should this have been thought out 50 years ago? Absolutely.

    Did Western Goyim ruin any chance of achieving harmonious Techno-Arcadia? Yes we did. The Great Adolf Hitler was ridiculed for saying the majority of people should live a simple life on lands they own. He never spoke against technologies. Yet he is still criticized by low IQ subhumans who just love what they think is “capitalism” or “communism”. All the -ism is KIKED.

    Now the world REALLY is overpopulated, and the only faction that can and want to do something about it are homosexual satanist financial elites. What a fucking ride ahead, heh?

    • Agree: CelestiaQuesta, GeeBee
  71. vinteuil says:
    @John Hagan

    Renoir recognized Bouguereau as a genius he could never rival.

    Too bad about the Andrew Lloyd Webber soundtrack on that video.

  72. @Marshall Lentini

    Once you get your beloved ethnostate, new divisions will be discovered to be vital. The separatist, supremacist, pathopsychology basically fears and therefore hates all others. Best expressed in solitary confinement, complete in itself. But then the psyche will fracture, and the Hell of internecine, schizoid, internal conflict ensue. Only one way out.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  73. @Haxo Angmark

    Such dogmatism is risible. Those pieces are fine, but give me Rach 2 over 3, any day, and as for operas-you can’t beat Mozart.

  74. Smith says:
    @HallParvey

    Even that joke has the flying, which makes it all too apparent.

  75. @theMann

    Those managing orchestra’s need to do a better job of youth outreach. Classical concerts are mostly boring. A conductor with his back turned to you is so old school. I’ll take a Wagnerian Opera anytime over top forty classical hits performed by copy bands playing loaned instruments to expensive to personally own.

  76. Sparkon says:

    Too much gloom & doom again.

    Anyway, I’ll nominate Henry Mancini – born Enrico Nicola Mancini , 1924 – 1994, as a strong contender for the greatest composer of the 20th century.

    If you’re going to beat on the drums and blow the horns, “Also Sprach Zarathustra” ain’t got nothing on “Peter Gunn”

    Qatar Philharmonic Brass

    Your ears may vary.

    • LOL: Emslander
  77. annamaria says:

    “And in so doing he joined the battle for our civilization and our future…”
    — the battle is going on. There is hope.

  78. Katrinka says:
    @Jake

    The wealthiest high status males had numerous concubines which left the lower status less wealthy men with undesirable women and the bottom rung males with only prostitutes. And who can forget foot binding? Good grief, what a horrible practice.

  79. Miro23 says:
    @ricpic

    Douglas Murray comes back to this “tiredness” over and over again.

    “Europe is tired” is his constant refrain.

    Is there any overcoming such cultural exhaustion?

    No doubt that the pre WW1 aristocracy was tired. Also decadent, lazy and beautiful in its last days.

    Richard Strauss lived his whole life in this bubble – and captures the ambience of Fin de Siècle Vienna. Imperial Czarist Russia was no different – just check the life of Pushkin – a constant round of balls, entertainments, hunting parties, social intrigues – with pride in never having visited their rural rent producing villages.

    If ever there was a society ready to go, wasn’t it this one?

    The Bolsheviks pulled down Russia and Hungary (for a time) and also had a good shot at Germany and Spain. Great Britain slid into socialism after WW1 and more so after WW2 – with the whole thing morphing into counter culturalism. The Western counter cultural elite now – remarkably – shows even greater wealth inequality than the old pre WW1 aristocracy.

    From this POV, ” leftist” counter culturalism is now experiencing its own tired, lazy and decadent finale and is itself ready to go. The sleaze, corruption and fakery are plain to see – coupled with the predictable economic failures.

    If the Belle Époque was finished off by WW1 and WW2, then the Jewish Century will probably be finished off by WW3. It would be surprising if it gave way peacefully.

  80. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Old Palo Altan

    It was a decadence of a true elite, whose members, in large part, renounced what was truly decadent in their work and turned to religion as the tragic realities of life hit them personally. This was especially true in England and France.

    Today’s decadence is that of an entire civilisation, and presages its end. Like everything of the Left, it has no grounding in truth nor any desire for it. It has produced nothing of value and indeed works for the end of the very concept.

    Yes. 1890s Decadence was, paradoxically, essentially right-wing and traditionalist. They saw themselves as defenders of civilisation against the barbarism of democracy and mass culture.

  81. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Once you get your beloved ethnostate, new divisions will be discovered to be vital.

    If whites got an ethnostate it would be bitterly and viciously divided. White people hate each other with a deep and burning loathing. There’s no hatred that can compare to the mutual hatred of GoodWhites and BadWhites. There’s no hatred that can compare to the mutual hatred between upper and upper-middle-class whites on the one hand and working-class whites on the other.

    There’s also no way that atheist whites on the one hand and Evangelical and Christian Zionist whites on the other could peacefully co-exist.

    There’s no way the crazy environmentalist whites could peacefully co-exist with anybody.

    The hatred of white people for other white people is extraordinary.

  82. John Hagan says: • Website
    @Anonymous

    He does lift the heart.
    cheers,
    John

  83. @dfordoom

    You could say this for every person or race, can’t you? This is the tragedy of human existence-we will always have differences. I am not disagreeing with you- the problem with whites is that they have always had differences and to their credit, stood by their convictions, which I believe is the reason they have been both so successful in general, and in dissaray today. But you don’t think Blacks will have differences? or Indians? Here in India, everyone is divided on the basis of caste for fucks sake. I am a Brahmin and I am forbidden to talk freely with a lower caste! This is why in my previous(top) post I have said that reason and rationality is the only solution. It can easily be done by whites. Not by any other race. But then look at some of the responses I got…..of all things they bring up Christianity. They don’t realize that a white Christian has more in common with a Mexican or black Christian on one subject only-faith, and literally nothing else!

    You need to relate to connecting. And relate to rational elements. Like you and I- we are relating on most things, and on the rational element of things. Spirituality and religion are not rational. I am not saying they are wrong, but they are irrational concepts to build a base on.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  84. neutral says:

    I wonder which of the two are worse. Someone like Strauss who managed to live when Western civilization still existed and see its death at the end or his life, or us who have to live in this hell scape of the post Western world.

  85. dfordoom says: • Website
    @RJ Macready

    You could say this for every person or race, can’t you? This is the tragedy of human existence-we will always have differences.

    Yes, absolutely. Human populations don’t just divide along racial or ethnic lines or even cultural lines. They divide along religious, caste, class and ideological lines.

    And there are endless sub-divides. Evangelical Christians have little in common with Woke liberal Episcopalians.

    There’s not such a divide between the middle class and the working class. There’s the upper class, the upper middle class, the working class and the underclass and they have few interests in common.

    And yes, it applies to all races.

    No society can ever satisfy every member of that society.

    The trick is to find something that can provide a measure of unity sufficient to keep society functional. The best means that has been found so far is monarchy. It isn’t perfect, but it’s a whole lot better than democracy. Democracy intensifies and embitters divisions.

    • Replies: @RJ Macready
  86. @dfordoom

    How is monarchy the best means? I think if anything it is even more primitive than democracy. Or in other words Monarchy(feudalism)->Democracy-> benevolent despot(Caesarism). This is why I have always adhered to the great man theory. It is an individual who brings about an epochal change. Charlamagne did, Napoleon also.

    • Replies: @Mulga Mumblebrain
  87. dfordoom says: • Website

    How is monarchy the best means? I think if anything it is even more primitive than democracy.

    In a monarchy all that is required is loyalty to the monarch. It doesn’t matter how many divisions there are within the population you can still have a functional society without people having to be at each other’s throats.

    In a democracy each disparate group will engage in a struggle for political power. So every disparate group will be at the throats of every other disparate group.

    • Agree: Emslander
  88. @HeebHunter

    Come on HH-admit it. You’re a bored young head-nodder in some West Bank settler yeshiva, whose job is to make us all look mad and guilty by association with your unhinged rants It’s so obvious.

    • Replies: @HeebHunter
  89. @RJ Macready

    I’d beg to posit that Great Movements (no scatological jokes, please) are more effective. Mao was a great man, a man of a century, but he was surrounded by other greats, eg Zhou En-lai, Zhu De, Deng, etc, many of whom Mao purged in one of his fits of idealistic revolutionary excess. In any case they created a system that is now humanity’s only hope of salvation in the face of Western Supremacism, American Exceptionalism and Zionazi Messianism.

    • Agree: RJ Macready, dfordoom
  90. The West’s technological success will be it’s undoing, because it has created the opportunity for lunatics to commit mass-murder under the guise of treating a fake medical emergency.

    It seems the the only way for order to be restored is by an intervention from outside the beast system and by someone who cannot be bought or intimidated by the powers that shouldn’t be.

  91. @dfordoom

    Are you saying that environmentalism is crazy, or that the environmentalists are. I agree with the latter, because most polite, well-trained, environmentalists refuse to acknowledge the extent of the disaster, or the role of consumerism in the catastrophe.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  92. @BorisMay

    While many on here point their finger at the Jew, there are many gentiles like JP Morgan, Richard Branson and the Clintons that are equally guilty.

    I said it before. No sane person is saying that.

    AWOL capitalism is definitely a factor. It has been enabled by economies of scale. These companies are so huge, transnational and see plebs as parts interchangeable with third world labor.

    The inverse of this is Germany’s Mittelstand i.e., small and medium-sized often family-run companies.

    However, as highlighted by gotminus gentile traitors Iike the Clintons and Tony Blair tend to be often agents of Jewish interests.

    Ignoring the JQ is pure folly like people who talk about a nebulous “New World Order” when they mean mostly Jewish persons. Disproportionate Jew influence in the West is well researched, be it foreign policy or dispossession of Whites.

    BTW you sound like Cockburn.

    • Agree: Unpersoned by fb
  93. fenster says:

    I came for the opening of 2001 but stayed through a lot more Strauss.

    Excellent appreciation.

    I too have read that Metamorphosen was an elegy to German in post-war ruins but have also read that the tie was not that direct. Maybe the literalness of program music had seen its day.

    Whatever the source of the music it undeniably works as an elegy. In a way it helps the historical imagination picture what it must have been like for a German of Strauss stature and artistry to have to come to terms with the crumbling of all he held dear. I suspect everything old is new again, too–before too long we may be listening to Metamorphosen with a new and heightened appreciation.

    There are no birds at the end of that piece, and no recapitulation of the “transfiguration” theme. But he managed to squeeze them in, just barely, in the last of the four songs. Comforting in a way.

    • Thanks: SeekerofthePresence
  94. @Mulga Mumblebrain

    t.Soviet Tankie Shill
    Reminder that anglos are irredeemable subhumans. The Chinese will take over the (((Five Eyes))) territories of Australia and New Zealand.

  95. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Mulga Mumblebrain

    Are you saying that environmentalism is crazy, or that the environmentalists are.

    Environmentalists had a good few points back in the 70s. Reducing air and water pollution was a good thing.

    Since then environmentalism has become a kooky doomsday religious cult.

    I agree with you on most other issues but we’ll have to part company on this one.

  96. @Anon

    Okay troll, you know perfectly well you took that quote out of context. Context is key, you hell bound liar.

  97. @SomeoneInAsia

    DJ is not one of his best “tone poems.” Listen to the “Alpine Symphony”, “Thus Spake Zarathustra” (which has become a cliche’ but, nevertheless…) and, especially, “Death and Transfiguration.” The latter is majestic. I am not a huge fan of Strauss, especially his operas, which IMHO don’t compare to those of his immediate predecessor, Wagner, but his comment that he may have been the greatest second-rate composer of all time was either indicative of a man with a healthy ego or uttered (as might be said in his native language) “mit der Zunger in der Wanger” (“with tongue in cheek”).

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