[Dixielandjazz] Bach, Beethoven and Handel

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Fri Nov 23 09:11:27 PST 2007

Dave G., evidence at otelco.net wrote

Barbone wrote:
Much of their music was commissioned by churches. It's main purpose? To get
more people into the churches. Not unlike many of the jazz vesper services,
of jazz church services that some of us play.

>Dave Answers:
>Cynicism which demonstrates a singular lack of knowledge about these
>great men's lives, their personal commitments as Christians and their
>deeply held motivations which transcended being mere shills for
>established religion.  Your scorn for the cross is not something to be
>proudly paraded for the admiration of the lost.

Oh my, the slings and arrows or revisionist history. Your conclusions about
my beliefs are without foundation. For example, the cynicism of my views,
and/or "singular" lack of knowledge about, Bach, Beethoven and Handel.

For example, Beethoven had far more scorn for the cross than most men. For
your information, Beethoven's personal commitment as a Christian was nil. He
was an apostate from the Christian creed and a follower of the Pantheism
espoused by Goethe. This was no secret during his life. Franz Joseph Haydn,
(his mentor/teacher) believed Beethoven was an Atheist. Biographer George
Marek, says Catholic-born Beethoven "never became a practicing one". There
is no record of his ever attending a church service or observing the
orthodoxy of his religion. He never went to confession. ... Generally he
viewed priests with mistrust. Anton Felix Schindler, who was Beethoven's
friend, described the composer as "inclined to Deism." Once, when violinist
Felix Moscheles playfully wrote on one of his manuscripts, "With God's
help," Beethoven altered it to read "Man, help thyself."  etc.

And scholars have long been arguing about Bach/Handel and their musical
anti-Semitism. Especially Handel's "Messiah". Let us not make these men, or
other musicians, including jazzers, into something they are/were not.

Steve Barbone

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