Homilius
He shook his head and stared away from me across the waste. But for a moment he did not start. He looked round at me shyly, hesitated. ‘Au revoir,’ he said. I felt an odd stab of emotion. A sense of how we had galled each other and particularly how I must have galled him came to me. ‘Confound it,’ thought I, ‘we might have done better.’ I was on the point of asking him to shake hands—for that was how I felt just then—when he put his feet together and leaped away from me towards the north. He drifted through the air as a dead leaf would do, fell lightly and leaped again. I stood for a moment watching him, then faced westward reluctantly, pulled myself together, and, with something of the feeling of a man who leaps into icy water, selected a point and plunged forward to explore my solitary half of the moon world. I dropped rather clumsily among rocks, stood up and looked about me, clambered to a rocky slab and leaped again…When presently I looked for him he was hidden from my eyes, but the handkerchief showed out bravely on its headland, white in the blaze of the sun.
H.G. Wells, The First Men in the Moon (1901), XVII

Renoir, when talking about The Rules of the Game: “The awful thing about life is this: everyone has their reasons.”

And especially the insane, he might have added. Most great comedies end in a general disenchantment: the uncoupling of behavior or action from principle, and a realignment of terms, publicly, between person and person, and privately, within each one. The insane person not only has his reasons — he never changes them. (The least flexible person in R’s film — his pilot in love — was doomed from the get-go.)

For a playwright, or a film person, this is a great thing to remember. And Renoir was the filmmaker who probably understood it best. It’s generosity. Nothing more. 

Eleanor Steber, Blanche Thebom, Richard Tucker, Frank Guarrera, Lorenzo Alvary, Fritz Stiedry, Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera Association - I. I cannot bear it! / No. 9 Quintet: Be sure to write to me daily... [Fiordiligi, Dorabella, Ferrando, Guglielmo, Don Alfonso]
52 plays

Mozart, Così fan tutte (1790), Act I, No. 9 Quintet: ‘Be sure to write to me daily…’ (‘Di scrivermi ogni giorno…’)

Eleanor Steber, Fiordiligi
Blanche Thebom, Dorabella
Richard Tucker, Ferrando
Frank Guarrera, Guglielmo
Lorenzo Alvary, Don Alfonso

Metropolitan Opera Orchestra / Fritz Stiedry (1952)

The action of love is so powerful that the soul dissolves with desire, and yet it doesn’t know what to ask for since clearly it thinks that its God is with it. You will ask me: Well, if it knows this, what does it desire or what pains it? What greater good does it want? I don’t know. I do know that it seems this pain reaches to the soul’s very depths and that when He who wounds it draws out the arrow, it indeed seems in accord with the deep love the soul feels that God is drawing up these very depths after Him. I was thinking now that it’s as though from this fire enkindled in the brazier that is my God a spark leapt forth and so struck the soul that the flaming fire was felt by it. And since the spark was not enough to set the soul on fire, and the fire is so delightful, the soul is left with that pain; but the spark merely by touching the soul produces that effect. It seems to me this is the best comparison I have come up with. This delightful pain—and it is not pain—is not continuous, although sometimes it lasts a long while; at other times it goes away quickly. This depends on the way the Lord wishes to communicate it, for it is not something that can be procured in any human way. But even though it sometimes lasts for a long while, it comes and goes. To sum up, it is never permanent. For this reason it doesn’t set the soul on fire; but just as the fire is about to start, the spark goes out and the soul is left with the desire to suffer again that loving pain the spark causes. Here there is no reason to wonder whether the experience is brought on naturally or caused by melancholy, or whether it is some trick of the devil or some illusion. It is something that leaves clear understanding of how this activity comes from the place where the Lord, who is unchanging, dwells…Here all the senses and faculties remain free of any absorption, wondering what this could be, without hindering anything or being able, in my opinion, to increase or take away that delightful pain.
Teresa of Ávila, The Interior Castle, The Sixth Dwelling Places (II, 4-5)
Shelley wrote to William Godwin and they became friends. I am not Shelley and you are not Godwin and so I will only hope that sometime I may meet you face to face and perhaps shake hands with you. If I ever do it will be one of the greatest pleasures of my life. If you care to know who it is that writes you, my name is Abraham Stoker (Junior). My friends call me Bram. I live at 43 Harcourt St, Dublin. I am a clerk in the service of the Crown on a small salary. I am twenty-four years old. Have been champion at our athletic sports (Trinity College, Dublin) and have won about a dozen cups. I have also been President of the College Philosophical Society and an art and theatrical critic of a daily paper. I am six feet two inches high and twelve stone weight naked and used to be forty-one or forty-two inches round the chest. I am ugly but strong and determined and have a large bump over my eyebrows. I have a heavy jaw and a big mouth and thick lips — sensitive nostrils — a snubnose and straight hair. I am equal in temper and cool in disposition and have a large amount of self control and am naturally secretive to the world. I take a delight in letting people I don’t like — people of mean or cruel or sneaking or cowardly disposition — see the worst side of me. I have a large number of acquaintances and some five or six friends — all of which latter body care much for me. Now I have told you all I know about myself. I know you from your works and your photograph, and if I know anything about you I think you would like to know of the personal appearance of your correspondents. You are I know a keen physiognomist. I am a believer of the science myself and am in a humble way a practicer of it. I was not disappointed when I saw your photograph — your late one especially. The way I came to like you was this. A notice of your poems appeared some two years ago or more in the Temple Bar magazine. I glanced at it and took its dictum as final, and laughed at you among my friends. I say it to my own shame but not to my regret for it has taught me a lesson to last my life out — without ever having seen your poems. More than a year after I heard two men in College talking of you. One of them had your book (Rossetti’s edition) and was reading aloud some passages at which both laughed. They chose only those passages which are most foreign to British ears and made fun of them. Something struck me that I had judged you hastily. I took home the volume and read it far into the night. Since then I have to thank you for many happy hours, for I have read your poems with my door locked late at night, and I have read them on the seashore where I could look all round me and see no more sign of human life than the ships out at sea: and here I often found myself waking up from a reverie with the book lying open before me…But be assured of this, Walt Whitman — that a man of less than half your own age, reared a conservative in a conservative country, and who has always heard your name cried down by the great mass of people who mention it, here felt his heart leap towards you across the Atlantic and his soul swelling at the words or rather the thoughts.
Bram Stoker to Walt Whitman (18 February 1872)

Chris Marker, Sans Soleil (1983)

I can remember quite distinctly that from the very beginning I declared myself in favor of German opera; my choice was determined by the tremendous impression produced on me by the two figures of [Filippo] Sassaroli and Weber. The Italian male-soprano, a huge pot-bellied giant, horrified me with his high effeminate voice, his astonishing volubility, and his incessant screeching laughter. In spite of his boundless good-nature and amiability, particularly to my family, I took an uncanny dislike to him. On account of this dreadful person, the sound of Italian, either spoken or sung, seemed to my ears almost diabolical; and when, in consequence of my poor sister [Clara’s] misfortune, I heard them often talking about Italian intrigues and cabals, I conceived so strong a dislike for everything connected with this nation that even in much later years I used to feel myself carried away by an impulse of utter detestation and abhorrence. The less frequent visits of Weber, on the other hand, seemed to have produced upon me those first sympathetic impressions which I have never since lost. In contrast to Sassaroli’s repulsive figure, Weber’s really refined, delicate, and intellectual appearance excited my ecstatic admiration. His narrow face and finely-cut features, his vivacious though often half-closed eyes, captivated and thrilled me; whilst even the bad limp with which he walked, and which I often noticed from our high windows when the master was making his way home past our house from the fatiguing rehearsals, stamped the great musician in my imagination as an exceptional and almost superhuman being. When, as a boy of nine, my mother introduced me to him, and he asked me what I was going to be, whether I wanted perhaps to be a musician, my mother told him that, though I was indeed quite mad on Freischütz, yet she had as yet seen nothing in me which indicated any musical talent.
Wagner, My Life, Vol. I
One day [in 1805], Carl Maria had begged his friend Berner to come and hear his overture to Rübezahl, just then completed. A light in Weber’s window showed that the youth was within. He mounted, knocked at the door—no answer; again—no note of friendly welcome. At last he pushed open the door and entered. The lamp was on the table—the piano open—but where was Carl Maria? By the sofa Berner stumbled. What was it? He had fallen upon the lifeless body of his friend; by his side a broken bottle, emitting a strong odor. He raised up the seeming corpse in his arms, and shouted for help. Franz Anton hurried from a neighboring room alarmed. With a glance the father discovered that the bottle was one of a deadly acid used in his engraving. His boy was poisoned. Doctors were called in: and with difficulty the unhappy youth was brought to life. But his mouth and windpipe were frightfully burned—his voice was gone. For weeks the poor young fellow lay between life and death. At last came the merest whisper of a voice, the full force of which was never to return, the charm of which in song was to be impaired throughout his life. At last the sufferer could explain that, shivering with cold from prolonged work, he had stretched out his hand for a flask of wine, which was also on the table—had absently seized the bottle of aqua fortis, left carelessly close by—had drunk. His first power of articulation, however, was to hail Berner as the savior of his life with all the fervor of a grateful heart.
Max Maria von Weber, Carl Maria von Weber (1864)
You don’t attack colonialism for using torture. If you like, you can call torture only the ‘signal’ indicating a decaying situation; but do not wait for the exposure of torture to become aware of the colonial situation. If you do, you are both irresponsible and naïve. The Algerian colonial situation was rotten long before torture became an issue. The truth of the matter is that France never considered the problem. The colonial situation interested her only indirectly and vaguely. Even the French Left held an ambiguous position regarding the problem. Suddenly the question of torture explodes and in France they say it’s ‘unethical’ to torture. Then and only then is the Algerian war a ‘dirty war,’ colonialism wrong, and the French position anti-historical. In my opinion, this kind of reasoning is hypocritical because war is -not- ethics, war is -not- fair play. You can find the same attitude in the U.S. now where every once in a while people remember to be shocked by Vietnam. They are shocked by the occasional newspaper disclosures about the shattering effect of some of the weapons being used in the war. Yet they never really question the war itself. Once it was napalm for the defoliants, then the plastic pellet bombs or carpet bombing. Those plastic pellets, for example, are not detected by X-rays and inevitably cause death. It is the same attitude—a romantic, nineteenth-century attitude—that led to the Geneva Convention, which established the rules for the kinds of bullets allowed in war. For instance, the dum-dum bullet is not permitted. Bullets must have a copper nose, which, unlike lead, has some solidity and does not expand upon hitting the bones. Thus, only if a man is wounded in a vital part does he die; if he’s wounded in nonvital parts, he survives. This kind of reasoning is ridiculous. For centuries they’ve tried to prove that war is fair play, just like duels; but war is not, and therefore any method used to fight it is good. When French intelligence proved that the Algerians also used torture—and they did, too—the entire group of French intellectuals was again shocked and began saying, ‘Well, if the Algerians do it too, then…’ So the discussion was again about fair play. But that’s not the point. It is not a question of ethics or fair play. What we must attack is war itself and the situations that lead to it, not the methods used to fight it. Actually, [Colonel] Mathieu is extremely sincere when he rationally and pitilessly says that torture is inevitable and that those who want a French Algeria must steel themselves to it. If his position is immoral and inhuman because it tries to halt a historical process, at least he is honest in his dishonesty. He dispenses with hypocrisy. He has no use for it.
Franco Solinas (from a 1972 interview about The Battle of Algiers)

Weber, Piano Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Op. 49 (1816)

Sviatoslav Richter (1954)

1. Allegro feroce
2. Andante con moto
3. Rondo. Presto

[x] Part II
[x] Part III

David Shifrin, Ani Kavafian, Maria Bachmann, Paul Neubauer, Fred Sherry - Clarinet Quintet in B-flat major, Op. 34 (J. 182): 3. Menuetto. Capriccio presto
420 plays

Weber, Clarinet Quintet in B-flat major, Op. 34 (1815): 3. Menuetto. Capriccio presto

David Shifrin, clarinet
Ani Kavafian & Maria Bachmann, violins
Paul Neubauer, viola
Fred Sherry, cello

[Studies for woodland creatures, Moritz von Schwind]

On 5th October [1823], Weber, Haslinger and Benedict drove out to Baden, where Beethoven was staying until the late autumn. They were received by the master with boisterous cordiality. He recognized Weber at once and greeted him with a shout: ‘There you are, you little devil!’ (du Teufels Kerl). Der Freischütz had opened the eyes of ‘the old bear’ to Weber’s real genius. Examining the score one day in the ‘musical emporium,’ he suddenly banged it with his fist and cried: ‘I never could have believed it of the poor weak little runt. Weber must write operas now; nothing but operas, one after another!’ And of the finale of the second act he said: ‘I see what he means, but he has put such devilish strange stuff in here. When I read the wild hunt, I can’t help laughing, but for all that I feel that it is the thing itself, the real thing. This is music that must be heard—heard only.’…The visitors found his place in the most appalling disorder—‘music, money, clothing on the floor, the bed unmade, dozens of coffee-cups upon the table, the open pianoforte with scarcely any strings left and thickly covered with dust, while [Beethoven] himself was wrapped in a shabby old dressing-gown.’ In order to find Weber a seat, a pile of music had to be pushed from an old sofa on to the floor. Beethoven, as usual, was full of complaints, but in his own rough way he treated Weber kindly. They dined together in the Sauerhof, as the guest afterwards wrote in his diary, ‘in the happiest mood,’ and many questions of art were discussed. At one point the question of Euryanthe was raised. ‘How is the book?’ asked Beethoven. ‘Good! Full of good situations,’ replied Weber. But Beethoven suddenly caught a glimpse of Haslinger’s face and burst out laughing: ‘Oh!’ he shouted, ‘the old story! These German authors don’t have the least idea as to how a good opera-book should be written.’ But Weber was not to be downed in this fashion. ‘What about Fidelio?’ he asked. ‘Oh, that’s different altogether,’ said Beethoven, ‘it was derived from the French and translated into German from the Italian.’ At last the time of parting arrived and Benedict tells how reluctant Beethoven was to let Weber go. ‘Again and again he embraced him, and it was a long time before he would loose the thin delicate hand from the grasp of his big fist.’ But at last they tore themselves away, and Beethoven’s last words were, ‘Success to your new opera. If I can, I will come on the first night!’ Circumstances, however, prevented the fulfillment of this promise, and the two musicians never met again.
William Saunders, Weber (1970), 148-49