Thoughts ''On the Spiritual in Art (Kandinsky)''

23.04.2020

"The art it's a force, serving to the development and sensitization of the human soul" 

Kandinsky 

Wassily Kandinksy - Untitled 1922
Wassily Kandinksy - Untitled 1922

When you start to read this little book, that seems that you will finish in just two hours, then you find something unexpected.                              You find complex and profound reflection about Art, the human being, and the reason why all them are profoundly connected. It's not a just book about painting, it's an invitation to be conscious of your own inner world, and a guide to discover the immaterial aura of art. A book that every artist should read (musicians, painters, performers, actors, writers, everyone).

The movement toward the evolution.

"Every art work is product of its age, and many times, mother of our feelings..., trying to bring to the present the past traditions is like a dead baby before the birth"  

Kandinsky

Kandinsky proposed few rules for art, this art should be produced by instinct, be representative of it's age, and the personality of the artist. There're certain works that we call "the monumental art works" They are those that transcends all the artist and ages and becomes a something universal, this kind of works have something special in common ( Kandinsky don't mention it, but, we assume that he's referring to the capacity of art to make humans feel identified with others, art is acting like a mirror of the human being's feelings and others may recognize themselves on this. In that sense art is a tool for evolution toward the unity). All the principles that we have mentioned before are shaping the "Inner need Principle" that is the essence of art. 

If we could follow his philosophy through the music, for instance, we could get a completely new perspective on Composition and Interpretation. 

Nowadays [musical interpretation] we can see how the music is focused on technical perfection, following faithfully the traditions of our past that we think (we don't!, some academics cannot even listen to Hofmann's recordings - Anton Rubinstein student - without complaint about his ''bad taste'') we know very well. How the competitions they are a real business for the jury and organizers. 

Where is the art on music today?

Are we, like artists, fulfilling our mission with art? 

Béla Bartók was a Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist
Béla Bartók was a Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist

The artists seek for material revenue. The satisfaction of his ambition and greed has become his goal... Hate, partisanship, jealousy and intrigue are product of this materialist art, art without any sense. 

Kandinsky 

This Art, full of restricting rules, traditions and superficiality is, at the same time, always materialist and senseless. And in the other hand unable to evolve (cause evolution it's all about unity, the perception of our feelings and our "soul", this has nothing to do with materialism, separatism and superficiality). All the men that were in pro of the evolution, and in his days were called charlatans now are revered as geniuses. (Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Pederewski, Horowitz, Cortot [about music]). 

When a certain age lacks of spiritual evolution, the "artists" they just care about external success, and the few that try to make real art are humiliated for those who claims themselves as defenders of tradition. In those periods of darkness they pay attention only to the "How" (the mean's through) and not to the "Why" (the goal itself). 

Vladimir Horowitz
Vladimir Horowitz



Virgil Thomson was famous for his consistent criticism of Horowitz as a "master of distortion and exaggeration" in his reviews appearing in the New York Herald Tribune. 

Horowitz claimed to take Thomson's remarks as complimentary, saying that Michelangelo and El Greco were also "masters of distortion. 

This attention to the "How" could be easily perceived in nowadays composers (academic music), Those who the most of the time composes music for other composers. 

This music is composed by brain instead of heart, and in consequence this just speak to the brain (of the people who are able to understand this "language") stead to speak to the hearts of human beings and reach it's real high role. Those artists complain about the reason why their work are not well-received by the public, the reasons are exposed, that's the reason why nobody cares about today's academic music!.

That evolution that artists are trying achieve should not be reached by force, but through the "Inner need principle" this one, that give us the impulse to create from the bottom of the human soul.

Otherwise, the "evolution" that we are ''faking'' through force turns inevitably in contortions, rarities without an impact on the human soul. All the means are allowed if they came from the "inner need principle" but all the means are sacrilegious if they're not coming from there.   

The most sensitive musical instrument is the human soul 

Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt: Estonian Composer
Arvo Pärt: Estonian Composer

Despite all that, the evolution keeps going on, and the Cognicengtis of today they writes books about the music (art) that was ridiculous yesterday, and sometimes they cannot see what is going on in front of their own eyes. 

They cannot see because of their prejudices, in that sense art and science are similar, takes too much for a new scientific theory to be taken seriously, and before that, it's often underrated or discarded. This cycle keeps going on, and only tomorrow the humans that today are helping us to evolve, will be recognized. 



"Beethoven always sounds to me like the upsettings of bags of nails, with here and there an also dropped hammer."

(From John Ruskin's letter to John Brown, dated February 6, 1881) 
Not everyone was a fan of Beethoven.
Not everyone was a fan of Beethoven.

The scientist, the politician, and the artist today is revered, yesterday was called greed, charlatan, cheat, and was victim of all kind of humiliations. Not taked seriously.  

Kandiksky 

The performer and the composer. 

"You cannot overlook the composer's intentions!" You could say. 

But let's try an exercise, think about an object (and all that is around it) that represents your inner world. The idea (object itself, color, texture, the things surrounding it) of the object will be changing constantly. If this is not changing, this is not alive and don't represent you. That's why a piece of music (art) it's something alive. In the other hand it's only alive when the performer (composer) plays it. 

Constantly Changing

Melodie, Op.3 No.3 (second Version)
Melodie, Op.3 No.3 (second Version)
Melodie, Op.3 No.3 (First Version)
Melodie, Op.3 No.3 (First Version)

Rachmaninoff wrote various versions of many of his own works!

The true art work comes mysteriously to the artist though a mystic way. Separating the work from the artist, it's takes personality, and becomes an independent subject, that breath independently and  it's alive by itself.

Kandinsky  

If we think on interpretation in a very artistic way, we will realize that we cannot imitate the inner world (inner need) of the composer, but we can recreate a piece looking at our own inner world (the inner need principle) if we do the second thing our work will be sincere, bright and profound. If we do the first thing, our work going to be "like a monkey imitating the human movements, they can do it perfectly but they cannot understand the profound meaning of it, those movements are empty" .We fall in l'art pour l'art  and the bond between the art and the human soul will be numbed. 

There's  not must in art, because art is free

Kandinsky 

Vasili Kandinski
Vasili Kandinski

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