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That morality is system-sensitive escaped the attention ofmost codifiers of ethics in the past. "Thou shaltnot " is the form of traditional ethical directiveswhich make no allowance for particular circumstances. The laws ofour society follow the pattern of ancient ethics, and thereforeare poorly suited to governing a complex, crowded, changeableworld. Our epicyclic solution is to augment statutory law withadministrative law. Since it is practically impossible to spellout all the conditions under which it is safe to burn trash inthe back yard or to run an automobile without smogcontrol, bylaw we delegate the details to bureaus. The result isadministrative law, which is rightly feared for an ancient reason-- --Who shall watch thewatchers themselves? John Adams said that we must have a"government of laws and not men." Bureauadministrators, trying to evaluate the morality of acts in thetotal system, are singularly liable to corruption, producing agovernment by men, not laws.
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Upon its premiere with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in January 1944, the work madean enormous impact, and Bernstein proudly toured the country introducing it to localaudiences. Following the New York performances, it won the coveted Music Critics CirclePrize for the best new composition of the year. His 1945 recording with Nan Merriman and the St. Louis Symphony (on RCA 61581) retains its historical import as Bernstein's first with a full orchestra, but his 1961 remake with Jennie Tourel and the New York Philharmonic (SonySM3K 47162) is far more vital and probing. (A 1977 version with the Israel Philharmonic (DG 415-962) is less inspired, and Christa Ludwig's operatic treatment of the finale misses the liturgical depth of the others.) Of Bernstein's subsequent serious works,the most significant were the 1949 ,the 1954 , the 1965 and the 1986-89 . But noneachieved much celebrity, and now that Bernstein is no longer around to program them himselfor to have them played at festivals in his honor, they are likely to be forgotten.
However the word “invention” actually goes back to the Latin word invenire for “to come upon.” Basically an invention can be any tangible device or a process, which is brought out by the human imagination.
Some of the greatest inventions were invented during this time.
Shostakovich: (ChicagoSymphony Orchestra, 1989) (DG 427 632). Lacking the structural inevitability of Bruckneror the prolific invention of Mahler, Shostakovich's 1941 depiction of the siege ofLeningrad can seem trite, diffuse and very, very long (as in Toscanini's earnest buttedious 1942 broadcast). The only way to pull off this rambling work is with unabashedemotional commitment. Bernstein does just that and makes an overwhelmingly persuasive casefor a piece that needs lots of interpretive help. One of the projects Bernstein neverlived to realize was a new recording of the Shostakovich , which hadcaused such a sensation on the Moscow tour in 1959. What a stunning performance that wouldhave been!
His discoveries and invention unlike any were extraordinary.
Bernstein's vigor, broad repertoire and enthusiasm had often been attributed to sheerirrepressible youthful energy. But Bernstein's later style proved that these qualitiesarose from something far deeper: a zest for discovery. In his DG releases, Bernstein notonly slowed things down, but he probed ever deeper to discover yet-untapped profunditiesin the works he loved best. He did this in the only way he knew how: by letting hisemotions run free. And perhaps he had finally reached the stage in life where he no longercared about criticism to the effect that his bloated ego had overwhelmed a proper artisticaesthetic.
Both of his inventions are one of the greatest inventions to date.
Ives: (October, 1958) (now on Sony SMK 47568).Charles Ives was one of America's best-kept secrets: a devout Yankee insurance executivewhose private passion was to transform Handel, hymns and patriotic songs throughear-bending polyrhythms, microtones and dissonances to yield a music that wasquintessentially American in its blend of contradictions. Although Ralph Kirkpatrick hadchampioned Ives's piano music, it was Bernstein who fostered America's discovery of itshidden treasure when he led the world premiere of Ives's in 1951, 50years after its completion. (A delightful anecdote: despite much urging, the obstinate77-year old composer claimed disinterest and refused to attend the concert; but hisequally stubborn wife went, received the accolades and, upon returning home, found theirkitchen radio tuned to the station which had broadcast the concert and her husband, whodenied it all, in a rare state of joy.) The release of this recording cemented Ives's fameand launched a full-scale Ives revolution. Bernstein revels in the naive delights of thiswork, which culminates in a riotous coda of Tchaikovsky, "Columbia, Gem of theOcean," reveille and a jarring dissonance.
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Having associated with contemporary composers and having written much modern musichimself, Bernstein was well aware that the pivotal significance of transcended mere popularity. Indeed, so much of what we now accept as "modernmusic" derives from . Carl Van Vechten (who got beat up in the openingnight melee) recalled that the audience had reacted so violently because they found thewhole thing "a blasphemous attempt to destroy music as an art." With the benefitof perspective, Edwin Evans more aptly described the score as "a conflict which isforever rending and tearing, not in order to destroy, but in order to emerge."Stravinsky recognized that traditional classical music had become stagnant and had toevolve quickly. He did not set out to destroy the old music, but his jagged rhythms, wildharmonies and violent dynamics gave birth to so much of the music of our time. Thus theproblem Bernstein faced was to present the score with startling freshness to an audiencethat was apt to take its innovations for granted. After all, in the 45 years since thepremiere of modern notions of rhythm had grown sophisticated through jazz,traditional musical form had become superseded by chance music, the outer bounds oftonality and dissonance had been supplanted by serial music, and crashing chords seemeddownright placid compared to high-decibel rockers and computer-generated .