A new release from the Nietzsche Music Project -
JOHN BELL YOUNG
'... intelligible and convincing.'
What goes around comes around, or so the saying goes. While that is
hardly an astute description of Eternal Recurrence, an idea as
indigenous to as it is revealing of Nietzsche's complex philosophy, its
relevance to the rare performances of his musical compositions has
More than a decade ago, the Nietzsche Music Project, a collective of
professional musicians and literary scholars that included this writer,
brought the music of the controversial German philosopher to public
attention with the release of two recordings on the Newport Classics
label. Until then, few knew, save for a handful of scholars who were
themselves unfamiliar with the actual works, that Nietzsche enjoyed a
second, somewhat secretive life as an aspiring, if amateur composer.
Since then, his music, much of it awkwardly constructed but fascinating
for its abundance of admittedly unfulfilled ideas, has been accorded the
attention it deserves both within and without academia. Given that its
composer was one of the most influential figures in the history of
western civilization, that alone is significant for what it illuminates
about its author's character, artistic aspirations and aesthetics.
Several recordings, inspired by the NMP's revelations, have since made
their way on to the market, but were either amateur efforts or musically
disappointing. This was no fault of the music itself, but the inevitable
consequence of performers insufficiently informed about the specific
interpretive requirements of unconventional works that demand an
exceptionally broad perspective.
Copyright © 2 November 2003
John Bell Young, Tampa, Florida, USA