Tchaikovsky is well worth a stretch

Publish date 25-08-2022

by Mauro Tabasso

When I do smart-working, between one break and the next, I smart-wash, smart-hang out, smart-iron, smart-cook, and do a lot of other not very smart things (try to do them remotely!) And even less pleasant , but I managed to make it passable thanks to music.

When I iron, for example, vinyls keep me company. I take one, I clean it well, I put it on the plate (a Swiss turntable from 1967), I gas the amplifier and ironing becomes almost relaxing. Yesterday I put on the Symphony n. 4 in F minor by Pëtr Il'ič Tchaikovsky (Tchaikovsky) after which I also gave gas to the steam iron; nice moron, since I was ironing a silk scarf. The bugs thank you. Could it be because I got the wrong music? In some theaters, even in some schools, Russian artists have been banned. Do I have to change records too? I adapt and switch to Bach's well-tempered harpsichord. Except that Bach (like Beethoven, Wagner and many other great masters) was German, a people also remembered for not exactly laudable facts.

No Bach, I opt for Mozart, but he was Austrian like Hitler, so I give up again; I turn on the TV. There is a documentary on Caravaggio, but the list of crimes committed by this immense painter is longer than Methuselah's beard. I change the channel and find a docufilm about Miles Davis, a hardened drug addict.

I go back to the vinyls, put on the Missa Papae Marcelli di Palestrina and the Holy Inquisition comes to mind; sacred music is also omitted. Is silence better? Better to iron mogi mogi, or make a healthy reflection on the boycott of the culture from which I started by burning the scarf, and maybe notice how stupid, petty, ignorant this behavior is? I am convinced of a fact: some works (of art or otherwise) are superior to the man (or woman) who created them, and elevate the whole species like few other things can do, becoming inspiration for those who know how to benefit from their beauty, of the message, of the content, even if there is not always coherence between the value of the works themselves and the life of their creator. And it is a mistake to judge an artist on the basis of his belonging to a people, an ideology, an ethnic group.

Let's stop at his art and let it speak to us, enlighten us, make us dream.

Diego Armando Maradona as a man certainly did not set a good example. Womanizer, cocaine addict, addicted to sex, food, but on the pitch he did things with his feet that no one would know how to do even with his hands. Let's stop at those, without judging him and we will understand that his mastery far exceeded the person. I imagine that this also applied to Mozart, Wagner, Caravaggio, Modigliani, Picasso and an endless array of other Russian, Ukrainian, German, Italian or criminal characters, whose works make humanity great.

I would like us to be wise enough to find some unity at least in culture, or in sport, activities that have always helped us to dialogue, express ourselves, grow together. And I almost forgot to iron. Come here Tchaikovsky because the iron is hot, and if I meet someone who has thrown away Dostoevsky's books because he was Russian, I swear I'll use it to get the creases out of his ears.

Mauro Tabasso  

NP Aprile 2022

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