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“The rose is without a why.

It flowers because it flowers.

She doesn’t care much about seeing herself.
She hardly cares about being seen.”
Angelus Silesius, The Cherubic Traveler

“Seek to understand the last word of what the great artists, the serious masters say in their masterpieces, there will be God in there”
Vincent Van Gogh. Letter to Théo, July 1880. T. I, p. 198.

“We should always remember that sensitivity and emotion constitute the real content of any work of art”
Maurice Ravel, 1928 interview with David Ewen, Etude, published 1982

“Music is about rising as high as possible above what is.”
Gabriel Fauré

What makes great music, that is to say what makes music something other than entertainment or a useful stimulus, for example suitable for making people walk or dance – like what makes music ‘a painting something other than a decorative element – this is its transcendence. This transcendence is the result of a certain richness of substance, of certain qualities of style; it lies in the emotional part, in the spiritual meaning of the work.
Ernest Ansermet

Beauty seduces the flesh to gain permission to pass through to the soul.
Beauty encloses, among other unities of opposites, that of the instantaneous and the eternal.
In everything that arouses in us the pure and authentic feeling of beauty, there is truly the presence of God. There is a kind of incarnation of God in the world, whose beauty is the mark.
Beauty is the experimental proof that incarnation is possible. Therefore all art of the first order is by essence religious. (This is what we no longer know today.) A Gregorian melody bears witness as much as the death of a martyr.
Simone Weil, “Gravity and grace”

“Who will know the secret of musical composition? The sound of the sea, the curve of a horizon, the wind in the leaves leave in us multiple impressions. And all of a sudden, without our consenting in the least of the world, one of these memories spreads outside of us and is expressed in musical language. It carries within itself its Harmony. Whatever effort we make, we will not be able to find a fairer one, nor more musical.”
Claude Debussy, interview in Excelsior of February 11, 1911

“I want to sing my inner landscape with the naive candor of childhood.”
Claude Debussy, ibidem

“Only musicians have the privilege of capturing all the poetry of night and day, of earth and sky, of reconstituting its atmosphere and punctuating its immense pulsation.”
Claude Debussy, S.I.M. Concerts Colonne, November 1, 1913

“Music begins where words are powerless to express; it is written for the inexpressible. I would like it to seem to come out of the shadows and that, at times, it re-enters it, that it always be discreet person. Music is a mysterious mathematics whose elements participate in infinity. It is responsible for the play of curves described by changing breezes; nothing is more musical than a sunset. For those who know how to look with emotion, it is the most beautiful lesson of development written in this book not frequented enough by musicians, I mean: Nature… They look in the books, through the masters, piously stirring this old sound dust; c “is good, but art is perhaps further away”
Claude Debussy M.Croche, p.171, Musica, May 1903. June 2018 Interview with philosopher Luc Ferry

For a philosopher, is music a form of language?
Music is a “romance without words” said Mendelssohn, who took up an idea developed by Immanuel Kant, the greatest German philosopher. Music is the only language that is universal. She speaks to everyone, beyond geographical and social borders, without words and even without images. When we listen to a Chopin prelude or a Bach Chorale, it’s as if they were telling us a story. There is a beginning, a development, an end, feelings, emotions, and even ideas, but nothing visible like in painting. This is what makes music so mysterious and unique among the arts.

Does music play an important place in your life?

Significant is small. It’s vital for me, I couldn’t do without it. Never while working because I don’t understand how you can write while listening to music, unless it is insignificant. Music, when it is truly beautiful, invades you, it leaves no room for anything else.

Are there any composers who particularly touch you? Do you also like singing, jazz?
I’m not a jazz fan. I can’t think of it as anything other than background, ambient music. I readily admit that a song can be very beautiful, touching, like “L’Aigle noir” by Barbara or “Ne me quitte pas” by Brel. But, as beautiful as it sometimes is, so-called “popular” music is never at the level of great scholarly
works. You can listen to the second movement of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, Chopin’s First Ballade, the great Romantic concertos, Bach’s cello suites or the second movement of Ravel’s Concerto in G a thousand times throughout your life. On the other hand, summer hits only last for a while.

Those that manage to last are those that come closest to classical music.