Artistic Manifesto

by Christopher Schlegel

Beginning with Symphony No. 1 in C Major my Musical Works are aimed at creating a new genre. Symphony No. 3 “The Virtues Of Man” is my first fully realized step toward that which I see as a development of this New Universe Of Musical Direction. Symphony No. 6 “The Values Of Man” and Piano Concerto No. 2 are firmly, solidly planted in that area.
Stylistically, this new Direction will be known as Futuristic Romanticism.

In order for a Musical Work Of Art to belong to this genre it must be Logical and Passionate, Intelligent and Beautiful, Serious and Entertaining, Moral and Practical, Benevolent and Determined, Original and Gorgeous, Innovative and Integrated. Most of all, it must project a vision of The Individual Human Being as The Absolute Towering Hero of the Universe. A Being with the capacity to experience pure joy and the desire to hear this represented in musical form. A Fearless Being that is confident of the Value of His own Life and the Beauty of His Soul.

Renaissance and Baroque, as Musical genres, were very subservient and submissive stylistically. This alone disqualifies them from contention. However, their bad points do not stop there. Further to their discredit are: encumbering and pointless ornamentation, endless epistemological confusion, blatantly irrational references and trivial, tiresome and boring structure, development, thematic, melodic, harmonic presentation.

Classical, as a Musical genre, was a vast improvement. Haydn alone can be credited with solving many of the previously mention problems that Renaissance and Baroque were having in answering the questions addressed to the fundamental nature of music. Mozart further refined the issues of melody, orchestration, large-scale structure and presentation. However, while most Classical was Logical, it was rarely Passionate. While it was usually Integrated, it was usually not Innovative. While there were many aspects that were Benevolent, few were sincerely Determined-sounding.

Romanticism, as a Musical genre, was somewhat incomplete in fulfilling these requirements. It was frequently Passionate, but not always Logical. Some of the works belonging to this genre were most definitely Determined-sounding, but rarely Benevolent. Wagner’s opera’s and Tchaikovsky’s ballet’s and symphonies are perfect examples of this particular flaw. Their technical mastery was superb, however, the music was flawed by the ideas to which it is attached (Malevolent Existence, Man’s Intrinsic Flaws, The Desperate Hopelessness of Virtues and Values). Notwithstanding these errors, Romanticism did come closer than any other genre of music thus far. And, accordingly, some of the Romantics did create Works of Musical Art that are truly flawless. Included in this list of composers that were at times capable of such greatness are Beethoven, Liszt, Chopin and Rachmaninoff.

Impressionism, as a Musical genre, was Innovative in various aspects (new harmonic possibilities, textural issues of orchestration, development of melodic materials). However, it was also incredibly lacking in Integration (arrangement, large-scale structuring, thematic development and relationships). Musical compositions by Debussy and Ravel are excellent examples of this dichotomy.

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