Forming intention and making commitments cuts across the domains of emotion and thinking. Once we act on our commitments, we are in the domain of action.
Every purposeful action begins with an intention and an idea. A commitment is an intention fortified by thought and experience.
Film and Stage
- I Vitteloni (The Young and the Pasionate), Fellini’s autobiographical film about “a half-dozen twentysomething layabouts”, one of whom breaks free toward a more purposeful life
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Messiaen, 8 Preludes for Piano (Huit Preludes pour Piano) (1929): The prelude form lends itself to an early stage, such as when an intention is formed, and Messiaen’s reverential spirit makes these short pieces suitable for the subject of making commitments.
Music of serious intention:
- Johannes Brahms, Vier ernste Gesänge (Four Serious Songs), Op. 121 (1896) (lyrics and analysis) (approx. 16-20 minutes), “. . . is a cycle of four songs for bass and piano . . .” Brahms told his publisher, “they are damned serious and at the same time so godless that the police could ban them – if the words were not all in the Bible.” Top recordings are by Kipnis & Moore in 1936, Hotter & Moore in 1951, Fischer-Dieskau & Demus in 1958, Baker & Previn in 1977, Quasthoff & Zeyen in 2000, Gerhaher & Huber in 2002, Williams & Vignoles in 2016, and Goerne & Eschenbach in 2016.
- Hummel, Quintet for Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello & Double Bass in E-flat Major, Op. 87 (1802)
- Rudin, Sonata for Violin & Piano (2001)
- Rudin, Sonata for Viola & Piano (2007)
- Rudin, Sonata for Cello & Piano (2010)
- Roy Harris, Symphony No. 3 (1938)
- Roy Harris, Symphony No. 5 (1942): 1st movement, 2nd movement, 3rd movement
- Schuman, Symphony No. 3 (1941)
- Ginastera, String Quartets: 1, Op. 20 (1958, rev. 1968); No. 2, Op. 26 (1958); No. 3, for soprano & string quartet Op. 40 (1973)
- Magnard, Violin Sonata in G Major, Op. 13 (1901)
- Fauré, String Quartet in E Minor, 121 (1924)
- Nordheim, Partita for Paul, for violin & electronics (inspired by Paul Klee’s paintings) (1985)
- Flagello, Piano Sonata (1962) [1st movement, 2nd movement, 3rd movement]; Declamation for Violin & Piano; Prelude, Ostinato and Fugue for Piano
- Irving Fine, Notturno for Strings & Harp (1951); Partita for Wind Quintet (1949); String Quartet (1952); Symphony 1962 (1962); The Hour Glass (1949)
- Arriaga, Symphonie À Grand Orchestre en Ré (Symphony in D Major): clearly a young composer’s work, serious in tone
- Ghedini, Marinaresca a baccanale (Sea Piece and Bacchanale) (1933)
- Ruoff, Organ Symphony No. 2
- Brahms, Piano Sonata No. 2 in F-sharp Minor, Op. 2
- Grażyna Bacewicz, Piano Sonata No. 2 (1952)
- George Enescu, String Quartet No. 1 in E-flat Major, Op. 22, No. 1 (1920)
Dave Brubeck was a jazz pianist who developed a clear idea of what he wanted: to lead piano-forward jazz ensembles. His albums reflecting this vision include:
- Marilyn Lerner, Ken Filiano and Lou Grassi, “Intention”