Komm susser tod

On this Wanamaker organ in Philadelphia, Fox played Komm susser tod in summer of 1939. Absolutely beautiful...

Komm susser tod (Come sweet death) by J.S. Bach
Wanamaker organ in Philadelphia by Virgil Fox (USA)


Anyur Dogan (Turkey/Kurds)

Siyasiyabend (Turkey)

From "Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul" (2005)

Whirling dervishes

The Secret Turning

A secret turning in us
makes the universe turn.
Head unaware of feet,
and feet head. Neither cares.
They keep turning.

-Jalaleddin Rumi


Oil spill


Four holy sonnets, John Donne

thou hast made me, and shall thy worke decay?
repaire me now, for now mine end doth haste,
i runne to death, and death meets me as fast,
and all my pleasures are like yesterday;
i dare not move my dimme eyes any way,
despaire behind, and death before doth cast
such terrour, and my feeble flesh doth waste
by sinne in it, which it t'wards hell doth weigh;
onely thou art above, and when towards thee
by thy leave i can looke, i rise againe;
but our old subtle foe so tempteth me,
that not one houre my selfe i can sustaine;
thy grace may wing me to prevent his art,
and thou like adamant draw mine iron heart.

as due by many titles i resign
my self to thee, o god; first i was made
by thee, and for thee, and when i was decayed
thy blood bought that, the which before was thine;
i am thy son, made with thy self to shine,
they servant, whose pains thou hast still repaid,
thy sheep, thine image, and, till i betrayed
my self, a temple of thy spirit divine;
why doth the devil then usurp on me?
why doth he steal, nay ravish taht's thy right?
except thou rise and for thine own work fight,
oh i shall soon despair, when i do see
that thou lov'st mankind well, yet wilt not choose me,
and satan hates me, yet is loth to lose me.

batter my heart, three person'd god; for, you
as yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
that i may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee, 'and bend
you force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
i, like an usurpt towne, to'another due,
labour to'admit you, but oh, to no end,
reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
but is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue.
yet dearely'i love you,'and would be loved faine,
but am betroth'd unto your enemie:
divorce mee,'untie, or breake that knot againe;
thake mee to you, imprison mee, for i
except you'enthrall mee, never shall be free,
nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.

at the round earth imagin'd corners, blow
your trumpets, angells, and arise, arise
from death, you numberlesse infinities
of soules, and to your scattred bodies goe,
all whom the flood did, and fire shall o'erthrow,
all whom warre, dearth, age, agues, tyrannies,
despaire, law, chance, hath slaine, and you whose eyes,
shall behold god, and never tast deaths woe.
but let them sleepe, lord, and mee mourne a space,
for, if above all these, my sinnes abound,
'tis late to aske abundance of thy grace,
when wee are there; here on this lowly ground,
teach mee how to repent; for that's as good
as if thou'hadst sel'd my pardon, with thy blood.


Dearth of tragedy

"where the fusion of appropriate elements is realized, we do find more than the individual poet: aeschylus is followed by sophocles and euripides; marlowe, by shakespeare, jonson, and webster; corneille, by racine. with goethe came schiller, kleist and buchner. ibsen, strindberg, and chekhov were alive in 1900. but these constellations are splendid accidents. they are extremely difficult to account for. what we should expect, and actually find, are long spells of time during which no tragedies and, in fact, no drama of any serious pretensions is being produced. but although this is a reasonable view of the matter, it is distinctly modern. it reflects the problem we are concerned with: the long pursuit of the tragic ideal. it is because there have been in english drama no successors to the elizabethans, nor in french drama any later rivals to corneille and racine; it is because the spanish theatre after calderon falls into dusty silence and because the death of buchner seems to date so precisely the close of the high period of german tragedy, that we now look on the creation of great drama as a rare and rather mysterious piece of good fortune....we cannot understand the romantic movement if we do not preceive at the heart of it the impulse toward drama. the classical imagination seeks to impose on experience attributes of order and accord. the romantic imagination injects into experience a central quality of drama and dialectic. the romantic mode is neither an ordering nor a criticism of life; it is a dramatization. and at the origins of the romantic movement lies an explicit attempt to revitalize the major forms of tragedy....the romantics believed that the vitality of drama was inseparable from the health of the body politic. that is the crux of shelley's argument in his defense of poetry: 'and it is indisputable that the highest perfection of human society has ever corresponded with the highest dramatic excellence: and that the corruption or extinction of drama in a nation where it has once flourished, is a mark of a corruption of manners, and an extinction of the energies which sustain the soul of socil life.' " - steiner

"in spite of all the unavoidable cleavages, disharmonies, animosities and antagonisms which are the perennial lot of human beings and human societies, there is a possibility--and this possibility is called culture when it is realized--of a community of men living together...in a state of tacit agreement on what the nature and meaning of human existence really is...such must have been the society for which the performances of the tragedies of aeschylus and sophocles were national celebrations; such were wide stretches of what we rather vaguely call the middle ages; such were, to judge by their artistic creations, the days of the renaissance and of elizabeth. the age of goethe, however, was not of this kind." - e. heller

"the rousseauist and romantic vision had specific psychological correlatives. it implied a radical critique of the notion of guilt. in the rousseauist mythology of conduct, a man could commit a crime either because his education had not taught him how to distinguish good and evil, or because he had been corrupted by society. responsibility lay with his schooling or environment, for evil cannot be native to the soul. and because the individual is not wholly responsible, he cannot be wholly damned. rousseauism closes the doors of hell. in the hour of truth, the criminal will be possessed with remorse. the crime will be undone or the error made good. crime leads not to punishment, but to redemption...this redemptive mythology may have social and psychological merit, freeing the spirit from the black forebodings of calvinism. but one thing is clear: such a view of the human condition is radically optimistic. it cannot engender any natural form of tragic drama. the romantic vision of life is non-tragic. in authentic tragedy, the gates of hell stand open and damnation is real. the tragic personage cannot evade responsibility...to ask of the gods why oedipus should have been chosen for his agony or why macbeth should have met the witches on his path, is to ask for reason and justification from the voiceless night. there is no answer. why should there be? if there was, we would be dealing with just or unjust suffering, as do parables and cautionary tales, not with tragedy." -g.s.


Alexey Titarenko

Tragic verses

Ha Mort, o douce mort, mort seule guerison
Des esprits oppresses d'une estrange prison,
Pourquoy souffres tu tant a tes droits faire tort?
T'avons nous fait offense, o douce & douce mort?
Pourquoy n'approches tu, o Parque trop tardive?
Pourquoy veux tu souffrir ceste bande captive,
Qui n'aura pas plustot le don de liberte,
Que cest esprit ne soit par ton dard ecarte?

Ah death, O gentle death, sole remedy
For spirits pinioned in captivity,
Why let your rights be flouted thus?
Did we offend thee, gentle, gentle death?
Why not draw near, O tardy Fate?
Why condescend to our captive state,
Who can no sooner from our bondage part
Than when our souls are striken with your dart?
-Jodelle's Cleopatre captive

When she that rules the rolling wheele of chaunce,
Doth turne aside hir angrie frowning face,
On him, who erst she deigned to aduance,
She never leaues to daulde him with disgrace,
To tosse and turne his state in euery place,
Till at the last she hurle him from on high
And yeld him subject unto miserie:
And as the braunche that from the roote is reft,
He never wines like leafe to that he lefte.

Base fortune, now I see, that in thy wheele
There is a point, to which when men aspire,
They tumble headlong downe: that point I touchte,
And seeing there was no place to mount up higher,
Why should I greeue at my declining fall?
-Marlowe's Edward the second

Cut is the branch that might have growne full straight,
And burned is Apolloes Laurel bough
That sometime grew within this learned man.
-Marlowe's Tragical History of Doctor Faustus

Non, je ne pleure point, madame, mais je meurs.

I weep not, madam, but I die.
-Corneille's Surena

Je veux, sans que la mort ose me secourir,
Toujours aimer, toujours souffrir, toujours mourir.

Scorning the balm of death, 'tis my desire
Always to love, to suffer, to expire.
-Corneille's Surena

So young to go
Under the obscure, cold, rotting, wormy ground!
To be nailed down into a narrow place;
To see no more sweet sunshine; hear no more
Blithe voice of living thing; muse not again
Upon familiar thoughts, sad, yet thus lost!
How fearful! to be nothing! Or to be--
What? O, where am I? Let me not go mad!
Sweet Heaven, forgive weak thoughts! If there should be
No God, no Heaven, no earth in the void world;
The wide, grey, lampless, deep, unpeopled world!
-Shelley's Cenci


On tragedy

"...i emphasize this because i believe that any realistic notion of tragic drama must start from the fact of catastrophe. tragedies end badly. the tragic personage is broken by forces which can neither be fully understood nor overcome by rational prudence. this again is crucial. where the causes of disaster are temporal, where the conflict can be resolved through technical or social means, we may have serious drama, but not tragedy. more pliant divorce laws could not alter the fate of agamemnon; social psychiatry is no answer to oedipus. but saner economic relations or better plumbing can resolve some of the grave crises in the dramas of ibsen. the distinction should be borne sharply in mind. tragedy is irreparable. it cannot lead to just and material compensation for past suffering. job gets back double the number of she-asses; so he should, for god has enacted upon him a parable of justice. oedipus does not get back his eyes or his sceptre over thebes. tragic drama tells us that the spheres of reason, order, and justice are terribly limited and that no progress in our science or technical resources will enlarge their relevance. outside and within man is l'autre, the 'otherness' of the world. call it what you will: a hidden or malevolent god, blind fate, the solicitations of hell, or the brute fury of our animal blood. it mocks us and destroys us. in certain rare instances, it leads us after destruction to some incomprehensible repose." - g. steiner in the death of tragedy

Christine Spengler