Friday, June 26, 2009

On the Passing of Michael Jackson - The Power of Music

With the death yesterday of a relatively youthful icon, Michael Jackson, some thought comes to mind:
In the world of TV and electronic communication throughout a rapidly shrinking planet, we, of course, are witness to and/or participants in the after shock caused by the departure of a powerful artist. The countless photographs we have already seen of the hordes of Jackson devotees paying homage to his entity, in so many different ways; from flowers, from groups gathering in so many locations, to weeping publicly - the same occurred a generation and a half ago when another popular legend, Elvis Presley, died suddenly.
It is totally irrelevant as to the style of the music; that is, whether it be popular or serious (classical) music. I think of the thousands who attended the burial of George Frederick Handel, the great Baroque composer. Although a native German, he was buried in great pomp in Westminster Abbey, and there is a statue of Handel in the Poet's Corner.
I recall the English author, Bachrach, and his description of the death of Beethoven, with a burial service attended by some 10,000, and a young composer by the name of Franz Schubert as one of the pall bearers.
And the crowds attending the placing of the legendary pianist Vladimir Horowitz, in 1989, in a family crypt.
Ironic, is it not, that we do not know where Mozart's body lies? We know only the cemetery he was placed in, with no headstone made at the time of his death.
The other side of recognition...

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