I have had an impression that Schubert and Mahler have had a similarity beyond belonging to the romantic school in the beginning and in the last, respectively.
One point is that both have started from the lied. Schubert has intensified it into the lied in original style of a pianist and a vocal solo. It has converged to his last work, Winterreise. It was a main theme how to save himself with music from fear of death for Mahler throughout his life. Both of them have taken the style of funeral march in their works, such as the 1st movement of the 5th symphony or the last song of Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen for Mahler. His 2nd or 9th symphony is dealing with the death itself. Schubert has written also funeral march in the 2nd movement of the string quartet, Tod und Maiden, or of the 2nd piano trio. Winterreise itself is doing with a trip to death.
Schubert was indulged in the intimate world of lied from the beginning to the end while Mahler has extended his music to the limit with a large scaled orchestra. But their works seem to have the essence told above in common.
I was pleased to find a clip by LA Philharmonic commenting almost the same idea as mine. I won't care for if anyone has the same idea or not. But knowing that someone thinks in the same way as for those two famous composers, I am a bit relieved as well as pleased at that.
The clip is here;
Honestly, Mahler is so attractive that I could be intoxicated when going on listening to his works. Nowadays, I am more inclined to the works of Schubert, his impromptu, string quartets or piano trios etc.
I sometimes wonder if the relief from fear of death was a driving force for those geniuses to go on composing. Even pleasant opera could be an excellent divertissement from that fear. From this standpoint, I believe we could appreciate any music even deeper.
It was the 3rd anniversary of Prof. Isoyama's passing yesterday.
There was a place for flower pots in the kitchen. On the aluminum sash of the window open to east, my wife has placed a few pots for flowers which could not survive outside in the cold weather.
But our rascal cat liked to step into that narrow space and had the pots fallen on the floor. It was a real tragedy for me to have them fallen and get the floor dirty with the soil.
I have decided to build a table for those pots. I planned to prevent the cat from getting into it. Getting ready the electric drill I haven't used for years and purchasing the necessary parts, I started that woodwork. Without any drawing, I could make such as a small table or a rack for ham radio gear. But for the past several years, I seemed to have lost that capability! I have made a few mistakes and had to run to the store for further parts etc. The wood seemed to be cypress, pretty hard to fill the screws. I should have used lauan much softer and easier to do with. Anyway, even in an incomplete outlook, it is finished. The only hope is that the rascal won't invade there and mess the things again.
A sad news has been brought to me by my brother a few days ago. He said that our senior friend, Dr. Wakai, had died on 10th of this month at age 74 years. I have mentioned of him in a post dated on Jan. 3 2016 of this blog.
I have first seen him at a bible class in my teenage days for the first time. He was a med student of Tokyo University at that time. It was when I had decided to go to a med school after graduating a college. He was kindly giving me advices and supports regarding my attempt from time to time. As if doing with his real brother.
While I quit Christianity in my twentieth, he became a competent neurosurgeon with firm belief in Christianity. He has worked for JOCS, Japan Overseas Christian Medical Cooperative Services, and has been to Taiwan for medical aid as a neurosurgeon. Later, he has become a staff of Dept. Neurosurgery at a medical school in this area, where we have worked at the same time for a few years.
Whenever we ran across on corridor of the med school building, he smiled at me saying "How are you doing?" or something else. When my father has occurred traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage due to falling down on an icy road, he has become the doctor on charge for him and eagerly treated him. My father has recovered almost completely.
He has been promoted to a professor in Dept. of Neurosurgery in a few years. It was around 50 years of his age when he moved to his mother school as a professor of International Health in social medical science, where he must have tried to compile all his efforts in medical aid to the developing countries throughout his life. A tragedy has struck him in his mid fifties that he suffered from juvenile Alzheimer's disease. He has had conflict to accept the reality as he told in an interview in a medical journal where he confessed of his illness. Since he published of his own illness, he and his faithful wife have made speeches to advocate on the illness at various places. In the last several years, he has been bed ridden at home cared by his wife and the others.
I wanted to visit him sometime while he was alive. But I have lost the chance. Whenever my sister met him, he always asked her how I and my brother was doing. Recalling of him and his kind friendship as a senior doctor, I feel he has been a role model for me even without being conscious of that. I believe he has asked himself why he should suffer from such an illness in the latter half of his life. It was an absurdity for him but also for me. But I also believe he has reconciled with and accepted his fortune. When, with his illness progressed, it became hard for his wife to make verbal communication with him, she still told the others she would see and testify what God might do with his husband. Even without belief in Christianity, her words, which might reflect her husband's belief, have overwhelmed me.
I would thank to him from the bottom of my heart and say rest in the peace.
The couple's photo taken 5 or 6 years ago.
According to our traditional calendar, it was the first day of spring 3 days ago. It is still getting quite cold in the evening and early morning. But it gets warmer in the daytime. The first storm of spring has blown from south yesterday, which was record early this year. Every plant will become lively very soon.
This morning, in the mild atmosphere, I went out and plowed a corner of the yard. Of course, it is to make farm in spring. Plowing the soil, I have discarded garbage, the roots of weeds and stones. There had been leaf mold piled over the ground, which was mixed with the soil. It is ready for farming for now.
Plants of garlic are growing as well. In a month or two, they will be harvested.
Spinach has gone through this severe weather in winter. Maybe, I should have covered with a sheet to protect them from cold weather. Without it, it is sure surviving.
At the diet, the 3rd supplementary budget was determined. It should be spent until the end of March this year. On the contrary to our hope, about 80% of the budget is for the other purposes than the expense for Corona crisis, like digitalization of the administration, the expansion of the new ID card system or even for the military expense including the payment to the US.
It seems to coincide with the policy "Economy First", that the government has adopted since last spring. The core of this policy is involved with holding the Olympic games this summer, which is unlikely to occur. It seems to drag the plan as late as possible for the interests of the related businesses. Subsidiary policy to promote travelling or eating at restaurants has turned out to let the crony companies acquire concessions. This was another example of "Economy First" policy.
The government has recently given up following up the person closely contacted to the patient/asymptomatic carrier except for those related with nursery facilities etc. Accordingly, the number of PCR tests is decreasing, which resulted in the number of new cases. Of course, this 3rd wave of epidemic since last fall could be getting settled down now. But the still increasing number of deaths may mean it is not the case. It was a fault for the administration office to have decided not to investigate the cluster cases or the people closely contacted with patients. Because it makes difficult to evaluate the effect of any policy for this outbreak.
One more thing, which surprised me a lot recently, is that those returning our country from oversea has been asked for self quarantine somewhere for a couple of weeks but they seem to have stayed home with their family for that period. It is never an isolation but could cause contagion at home. The governmental office seems not concerned about that.
The government has announced that they would give the vaccine to every people in the country at the expense of the government. It is reported, however, the contract with Pfizer says they would distribute the vaccine, not by June as formerly reported, but by the end of this year. The vaccination has not been started at present at all. The logistics and the vaccination program at periphery have not been determined nor prepared yet, even though the doctors and related personnel have been working hard to build the system.
Considering what is going on, or not going on, by the government, it seems to go after the administration of Trump in the US or of Bolsonaro in Brazil. Our government pretends to rely on scientific findings on COVID19 and on the epidemiological data in our country. But I could hardly believe they have not done that from scratch. Together with the administrative office governed by bureaucrat MDs, they are concerned only not to mitigate but to pretend to do that.
A big member of the Diet who belongs to the ruling party could be hospitalized without any symptoms as soon as he was diagnosed as COVID19 positive. There have been thousands of patients, at home, waiting for the beds in hospitals. Dozens of people have succumbed at home without any access to medical care. All the personnel at the center of LDPJ, the ruling party, have been tested by PCR for COVID19, since there was a case of COVID19 there. These disparities in managing people infected with COVID19 between the people of the ruling party and the other people clearly tells us how the government is doing with this crisis.