Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Simply Sublime

Dear Kari:

What is sublime?

Got an example or two for me and our readership?

Me and my classical music buddy were on our way to the Hollywood Bowl last evening and on the shuttle bus, we were trying to hash out a definition for sublime. We kind of got stuck. We tossed out words like indescribable, a elevated sense of joy, something artistic that lifts us beyond the ordinary... how are we doing so far...?

A visit to Merriam-Webster gives this:

Main Entry: sublime
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): sub·lim·er; -est
Etymology: Latin sublimis, literally, high, elevated
1 a : lofty, grand, or exalted in thought, expression, or manner b : of outstanding spiritual, intellectual, or moral worth c : tending to inspire awe usually because of elevated quality (as of beauty, nobility, or grandeur) or transcendent excellence
What do you think?

Anyway, we got to the Hollywood Bowl and settled into our seats.

I think we heard sublime.

Cho-Liang Lin's playing of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 35 = sublime.

Giancarlo Guerrero, the last minute substitute conductor, leading the Los Angeles Philharmonic's performance of Holst's The Planets = sublime.

If I had to assemble a desert island pack of classical music, these works would be in it.

How about you?

Be well,
Rene

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