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  • Writer's pictureThe Beverly Arts

"Asking for Meaning"

Original️ essay by Joey Zhou

Music selected by Joey Zhou: Tschaikowsky: 6. Sinfonie (Pathétique)

If all artists are asked, who are you? Where are you from? Where are you headed? Answering these questions, which immediately rise to the philosophical and aesthetic levels, will leave many artists speechless for a while. Yes, who are we? Where did it come from? Where are you going again? When people get sick, especially when they face death, will they face inquiries from the turning point of life and death? For example, is my life meaningful? When I die, will I go to heaven or hell? There was a popular saying in today's society: "Life has no meaning" For those who support this statement, to put it lightly, it is a kind of cynicism, to put it more conceptually, it is a kind of existentialism, and to put it more deeply, it is actually a lack of confidence in oneself or a natural rebound caused by the long-term illusory living environment. Just like a winner who has just won the Nobel Prize for Literature, to say in public: “Literature is actually of no use" This could be understood as a humorous ridicule by colleagues, but if it is said to young people, it would be considered "disrespectful" and "relying on the old, and neglecting the old." There is no need to demand that all artists use language to answer the meaning of life openly. Throughout their lives, artists have used their works to answer this difficult question, bit by bit. For example, I feel that every note in Tchaikovsky's "Pathétique Sonata" answers the meaning of life, and also answers: “Who is he? Where does he come from? Where is he going?" The meaning of Pathetique is the meaning of life. In the Sixth Symphony there are many emotions - attached, longing, reluctance, joys and sorrows, separation, disappointment, despair, success, failure, hope, calling, life, and love! Tchaikovsky used the Pathetique Sonata to express his constant longing, concern, and love for Mrs. Nadezhda von Meck. He completed the "Pathétique Sonata" in September 1893. On October 28, Tchaikovsky personally conducted the performance successfully. Tchaikovsky died suddenly in early November. A year later von Meck followed him. During his lifetime, although Ms. von Meck supported Tchaikovsky, they agreed never to meet, and only to communicate through letters. After his death, they finally met in heaven. The meaning of their lives was full of youth, love, and the fragrance of life!

The Beverly Arts is sponsored by The Beverly Arts Foundation


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