Monday, May 22, 2006

Dietrich von Hildebrand on Mozart

The Dietrich von Hildebrend Legacy Project, administered by John Henry Crosby, the son of Dr. John Crosby, Professor of Philosophy at Franciscan University, has as its major project the translation into English and publication of the complete works of the Catholic philosopher and cultural critic, Dietrich von Hildebrand. Transformation, a quarterly e-newsletter of the Project, is aptly named with its allusiveness to the title of one of von Hildebrand's major works, Transformation in Christ. The latest issue of Transformation includes a link to the following page of Excerpts from von Hildebrand's essay Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. While Mozart was no saint, as von Hildebrand admits, a deep exploration of his music leads him to conclude that to actualize as a person the spirit embodied in his work, is to recognize something profoundly saintly about the vision Mozart sets forth in his music. "Mozart's art is permeated by a spirit of holy lavishness (heiliger Verschwendung) that we otherwise find only in nature," he writes.

First the ebullience of Pope Benedict XVI concerning Mozart; and now this! German sentimentality? Insight? Perhaps a little of both?

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