I am one who believes that human happiness and well-being depend on people and societies advancing beyond what we might call the contract level of human interaction. If life was perfectly predictable and every contract, or agreement, was crystal clear, we might be able to achieve a just society through merely contractual arrangements. But because life is messy, we need more than merely abiding by our formal agreements. We need an ethic of loving kindness and generosity, which we might call by the composite term “goodness.”
Film and Stage
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Mozart, Piano Sonatas
- Piano Sonata No. 1 in C major, K. 279
- Piano Sonata No. 2 in F major, K. 280
- Piano Sonata No. 3 in B flat major, K. 281
- Piano Sonata No. 4 in E flat major, K. 282
- Piano Sonata No. 5 in G major, K. 283
- Piano Sonata No. 6 in D major, K. 284
- Piano Sonata No. 7 in C major, K. 309
- Piano Sonata No. 8 in A minor, K. 310
- Piano Sonata No. 9 in D major, K. 311
- Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K. 330
- Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major, K. 331
- Piano Sonata No. 12 in F major, K. 332
- Piano Sonata No. 13 in B flat major, K. 333
- Piano Sonata No. 14 in C minor, K. 457
- Piano Sonata No. 15 in F major, K. 533
- Piano Sonata No. 16 in C major, K 545
- Piano Sonata No. 17 in B flat major, K. 570
- Piano Sonata No. 18 in D major, K. 576
LeClair, Violin concerti:
- Op. 7: No. 1 in D minor; No. 2 in D major; No. 3 in C major; No. 4 in F major; No. 5 in A minor; No. 6 in A major.
- Op. 10: No. 1 in B flat major; No. 2 in A major; No. 3 in D major; No. 4 in F major; No. 5 inE minor; No. 6 in G minor.
- Mozart, Lucio Silla, K. 135 (1772): in the end, virtue triumphs over power as the dictator relents and allows the lovers to marry.
- Karchin, Romulus (1990): The protagonists, a philosopher and an astronomer, are decent and sincere.
- Weber, Flute Trio in G Minor, J259, Op. 63 (1819)
- Witt, Symphony in C Major, “Jena”
- Witt, Symphony in A Major (c. 1785)
- Harrison, Four Strict Songs for Eight Baritones and Chorus (1955, rev. 1992)
- Fortunato Chelleri, 6 Sonate di Gallanteria (ca. 1730)
- Wenzel Thomas Matiegka (Václav Tomáš Matějka), 6 Sonatas for Guitar, Op. 31 simple, straightforward and unassuming
Albums from the dark side:
- Lyander Piano Trio, “Mirrors”
- Charles Fussell, Cymbeline, crafted after Shakespeare’s play about “deceit, pursuit and seduction”.
Jean Prouvaire was a still softer shade than Combeferre. His name was Jehan, owing to that petty momentary freak which mingled with the powerful and profound movement whence sprang the very essential study of the Middle Ages. Jean Prouvaire was in love; he cultivated a pot of flowers, played on the flute, made verses, loved the people, pitied woman, wept over the child, confounded God and the future in the same confidence, and blamed the Revolution for having caused the fall of a royal head, that of André Chénier. His voice was ordinarily delicate, but suddenly grew manly. He was learned even to erudition, and almost an Orientalist. Above all, he was good; and, a very simple thing to those who know how nearly goodness borders on grandeur, in the matter of poetry, he preferred the immense. He knew Italian, Latin, Greek, and Hebrew; and these served him only for the perusal of four poets: Dante, Juvenal, Æschylus, and Isaiah. In French, he preferred Corneille to Racine, and Agrippa d'Aubigné to Corneille. He loved to saunter through fields of wild oats and corn-flowers, and busied himself with clouds nearly as much as with events. His mind had two attitudes, one on the side towards man, the other on that towards God; he studied or he contemplated. All day long, he buried himself in social questions, salary, capital, credit, marriage, religion, liberty of thought, education, penal servitude, poverty, association, property, production and sharing, the enigma of this lower world which covers the human ant-hill with darkness; and at night, he gazed upon the planets, those enormous beings. Like Enjolras, he was wealthy and an only son. He spoke softly, bowed his head, lowered his eyes, smiled with embarrassment, dressed badly, had an awkward air, blushed at a mere nothing, and was very timid. Yet he was intrepid. [Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (1862), Volume III – Marius; Book Fourth – The Friends of the A B C, Chapter I, A Group which barely missed becoming Historic.]
Narratives, from the dark side:
- There is practically nothing good or decent about the characters’ behavior in Shakespeare’s tragedy “Cymbeline”. Everyone’s behavior is transactional and self-serving. “King Cymbeline of Britain banishes his daughter Innogen's husband, who then makes a bet on Innogen's fidelity. Innogen is accused of being unfaithful, runs away, and becomes a page for the Roman army as it invades Britain. In the end, Innogen clears her name, discovers her long-lost brothers and reunites with her husband while Cymbeline makes peace with Rome.”