Today is another triple number day—this time it’s all about the nines. And what better way to mark the occasion than to sample a bit of Bruckner’s Ninth Symphony. Here we have the renown Herbert von Karajan (1908-89) conducting the brief Coda to the first movement. Bruckner’s 9th symphony was his last, and is incomplete. His name is on the list of composers called The Curse of the Ninth. Here is the explanation, condensed from Wikipedia:
The Curse of the Ninth is the superstition that any composer of symphonies, from Beethoven onwards, will die soon after writing their own Ninth Symphony, possibly leaving it unfinished. The most prominent examples, besides Beethoven, are Franz Schubert, Antonín Dvořák, Anton Bruckner, Gustav Mahler, and Ralph Vaughan Williams. In an essay about Mahler, Schoenberg wrote: "It seems that the ninth is a limit. He who wants to go beyond it must pass away. It seems as if something might be imparted to us in the Tenth which we ought not yet to know, for which we are not ready. Those who have written a Ninth stood too close to the hereafter." Some other composers used as examples of the curse include: Kurt Atterberg, Elie Siegmeister, Alfred Schnittke, Roger Sessions, Egon Wellesz, and Malcolm Arnold. There are, however, notable notable counterexamples, among them Shostakovich, Tubin, Villa-Lobos, and Hovhannes. Both Mozart and Hadyn wrote more than nine, but they don’t make the list since they predate Beethoven, which is considered to be the beginning of the curse.
The Cloud Messenger (Meghadūta) is a lyric poem by the respected Indian poet, Kālidāsa. The poem centers around a yaksa in exile. Longing for his beloved, waiting for him on a Himalayan mountain, he asks a cloud to take a message to her. The sights he tells the cloud it will see on its way make up most of the poem.
The idea of recording observations appeals to me. I thought The Cloud Messenger was the perfect title for a blog about the journey that we all make as we move through our days.
I'm a baby boomer who grew up dancing in the streets of Detroit during the classic Motown years, lived beside the Rocky Mountains for many years, now retired and living (and writing full time) in S. Ontario. I have one blog for rock 'n' roll oldies, and one for nature, poetry and life along the Lake.