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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Classical Music and The Creative Mind

This week again I am thinking over our recent vacation to my home state of Ohio. As we were preparing to go to Norton, Ohio my wife suggested we go hear the Cleveland Orchestra while we were visiting there. Since we all enjoy classical music it seemed like a great idea. We thought it would be a nice treat for my third grade teacher, who we were staying with to take her along too. I found a concert that fit our schedule, Sunday the 26th of May at 3 p.m. in the afternoon so we would not be out too late. The concert was to be the Cleveland Orchestra’s season finale. It was held in Severance Hall which was built in 1931 and renovated in 2000. It is considered one of the oldest and beautiful concert halls in America. From our mid-balcony seats we were impressed with the stateliness of the interior design.

The musical program showcased three works. The first was Open Mind composed by Rolf Martinsson, a modern composer from Sweden. Secondly came Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor Opus 37 with pianist Lars Vogt, from Germany. Then the final piece was Tchaikovsky’s symphony No. 5 in E minor Opus 64. You can listen to portions of each piece by clicking the lines below:

Beethoven piano concerto No 3 in C minor Opus 37 click for movement 1

Tchaikovsky symphony no. 5 in E minor Opus 64 click for the finale

Rolf Martinsson listen to a clip of Open Mind by clicking on the title

We were enraptured by the emotion of the music as we listened intently to each piece performed. We also had a magnificent view from the balcony looking down viewing the conductor, Manfred Honeck, as he led the musicians to perform as a single unit. It was an amazing experience of sight and sound.

As I listened to each piece of music my mind reflected on the creative minds behind the music. Thinking of each composer and how their personalities and emotions came out in their individual works of musical art. I marveled also at the complexity of the creative mind. Just to think that in the mind of Martinsson, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky they could combine together all the pieces of music for each of the individual instruments. They had to write out music for violins, French horns, flutes, percussion, clarinets, trumpets, and many more. Then combine it all together so that it makes musical sense and not just a bunch of senseless noise. Melodies and countermelodies in relation to each of their pieces of music first were born in their creative minds and then painstakingly written out for each of the orchestra’s instruments. When the audience member listens with delight it all seems so easy. But if you contemplate all that goes into to developing music from the first mental thought, through the composition process it is amazing to think of the God given talent of the creative minds of music composers.

I grew up playing trumpet in band in my hometown of Barberton, Ohio. From that experience I have always had an admiration for the work that goes into making an orchestra a unified unit in expressing pieces of music. That afternoon in Cleveland brought back memories of concert band in earlier years. Yet the primary thoughts going through my mind was that of the amazing power of creativity.

Thinking through the creative mind process of the composers then moved me to meditate on the greater Creative Mind of God behind all there is in life and creation. As we go through our days on autopilot not paying attention to the amazing world around us, it is simple to be like the concert goer to see it as all so easy. You can maybe even see how some may consider how everything just popped into existence via random chaotic macro evolution. Like a rabbit out of a magic hat. But then if you allow your mind to move from autopilot to deep reflection on the complexities and beauty of creation and life you then begin to be amazed at the power of creativity and design which of course logically would entail a Grand Designer.

Reflection: What did you think of the pieces of music listed in this blog post? Think of music composers in any genre you enjoy. What do you think of their creativity? How does this relate to your creativity?

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