Thursday, 4 June 2015

Naturism and Music

Bartok wrote Bluebeard's Castle, in the nude,
Except for a pair of sunglasses, which presumably he wore
As symbols of the last door,
To try and keep things dark.
The whole opera is different because he wrote it stark
Naked, as a naturist in a camp;
In bright sunlight,
Not in the night,
Not by a lamp.
But one must not make crude
Assumptions about the choice
Of instrumentation, the orchestration.
It is the human voice,
And the words, on which one must concentrate,
The idea of repressed violence and fear.
One doesn't think of Bela as being wild
Or even wildish,
So one must always hesitate
Before being childish,
And writing silly verse.
This sort of behaviour - hanging around,
Exposing while composing,
We attribute more often to his contemporary Percy Grainger,
Who was no stranger
To nudity and self flagellation and worse.

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