4 thoughts on “Composer Kings

  1. The only thing I didn't like about this video was the judgemental tone you assumed for the "less savory" historical figures. Sure, they were flawed in significant ways, and that's something humanity must not forget. But you seemed to go out of your way (only a little bit, to be honest, but it still stood out) to point out that the first two characters were "bad men", and worse, after discussing Ivan, you seemed to suggest that their music might not be worth listening to.

    That got me. Seriously.

    I understand it's a tough ethical question: should we enjoy the art of people we disagree with? Can we? Does a paedophile's artistic output lose all merit because the artist was a paedophile? Tough questions, but I wished you had focused more on the music and less on your personal dislike of those characters. It just felt…off.

    Lastly, your treatment of Frederick at the tail end of the video had hints of unfair judgement too: as though the narrative you were going with was, "This talented king challenges one of his subjects to accomplish a nearly impossible feat. And the humble subject shows him who's boss." I doubt Bach felt that way. And it's no fault of Fred's that he was born king. That's just how society was structured then. And Bach was certainly delighted to be invited by his sovereign to his court to play on his new instruments. At least, that's how I interpreted the episode in Goedel-Escher-Bach.

    Anyway, I learned one new thing today: Ivan the Terrible wasn't so terrible a composer 🙂
    I'm looking forward to more content from your channel.

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