12 September 2022 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
Why is classical music ‘classical?’ It is because the music has enduring qualities to lift humanity above the common plane of mundane existence. Music is the language of the soul and it possesses power for good or evil depending on its message. We can know the quality of music by simply knowing whether it makes us desire to be better in our lives, or else to behave in ways not edifying. Such is the music, and motives, of the great composers (to lift our souls and not to lower them to levels of vulgarity.)
Great composers such as Petr Tchaikovski believed music could actually speak by conveying specific messages like the spoken word – I tend to agree.
Below is a story I wrote and published in the Logos of St. Andrew in 2004. The character and compassion of the composer, Antonio Vivaldi, is evidenced in, not only his music, but also in his motive fin the composition of it:
A Time and a Season – Antonio Vivaldi~
by Bishop Ogles
(From Logos of St. Andrew, Summer 2004)
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord……….Ephesians 5:18-19
There is a time and a season for everything under the sun. A time for sorrow, a time for joy, a time for laughter and a time for weeping. But in our natural world, we have only four seasons of beauty and purpose with which we have been gifted of God. Each of these four seasons has a special purpose in the vision of Creation.
When the beauty of these four special seasons is combined with great music, the ecstasy is overpowering.
That is what a gentlemen named Antonio Vivaldi did in composing his special Baroque music called, “Four Seasons.” This work has forever been a favorite among those who love and appreciate nature, beauty, art and music. When we listen to the gliding contrasts of the notes, we are taken on a higher plane of reality.
But what of the great composer behind “Four Seasons” and other great works – Antonio Vivaldi? He was a man of great compassion who wrote music suitable for worship. He also ran an orphanage primarily for young girls. He trained them diligently to sing and to become accomplished musicians. He wrote prolifically to raise money to support his orphanage and the young ladies quartered there. The proceeds from his compositions went completely to support his orphan girls and to provide their training and livelihood. Vivaldi, being a minister of the church, felt the admonition of God to provide for orphans – and he did!
Where would our musical world be today without his most famous work, Four Seasons? But more importantly, what would have become of hundreds of orphaned girls without this kind and benevolent composer to provide for their living by exercising the gift with which God had so abundantly endowed him? Vivaldi died in poverty and unheralded, but I am quite sure that he has reclaimed his riches with God above.
Are you using your God-given gifts for the benefit of those who are in the greatest want in society? Perhaps we should all follow the example of Antonio Vivaldi.