A prime demand of the orderly life is the taming of the ego. In its pre-orderly state, the ego senses desired ends but lacks the discipline necessary to achieve them.
For anyone who is committed to the well-being of others, selflessness acquires another dimension. The ego must be brought under control in the service of others. This broader conception of orderliness leads eventually to spirituality.
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Brahms composed two major chamber works featuring clarinet. In each of them, a minor key conveys an air of concern as we hear three instrumental families – piano, clarinet and strings – joining together in common cause.
- Brahms, Trio for Piano, Clarinet and Violincello in A minor, Op. 114
- Brahms, Quintet for Clarinet, 2 Violins, Viola and Violincello in B minor, Op. 115
The bass is a foundational instrument, intuitively and in most musical compositions. In jazz, other voices take the spotlight while the bass provides their foundation. Still, artists such as Oscar Pettiford and Charles Mingus made the bass a star in its own right, even as they served their supporting function for the other players. Here is a link to Pettiford’s quartet at the Essen Jazz Festival in 1960. Below are links for the better-known Charles Mingus.
- “Ah Um” album (50th anniversary edition)
- “Tijuana Moods” album
- “Let My Children Hear Music” album
- “Pithecathropus Erectus” album
- “Epitaph” album
- “The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady” album
- “The Clown” album
- “Mingus” album
- “Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus” album
- “Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus” album
- “Changes One” album
- “Blues & Roots” album
- “Newport Rebels” album
- “Stormy Weather” album
- “Revenge!” album
- “East Coasting” album
- “Cumbia & Jazz Fusion” album
- “Mingus Moves” album
- Charles Mingus Sextet in Europe, 1964
- Charles Mingus – Epitaph: Live from Lincoln Center(documentary film)
- “Triumph of the Underdog" film
Mozart, Mitridate, rè di Ponto, K87 (1770): In this opera from the teenaged Mozart, main conflicts are resolved by self-renunciation in the form of suicide. This may not be an ethical solution but it is selfless, or at least illustrates the point (performances conducted by Rousset, Harnoncourt, Hager and Marriner).
It will be remembered that Jean Valjean was happy in the convent, so happy that his conscience finally took the alarm. He saw Cosette every day, he felt paternity spring up and develop within him more and more, he brooded over the soul of that child, he said to himself that she was his, that nothing could take her from him, that this would last indefinitely, that she would certainly become a nun, being thereto gently incited every day, that thus the convent was henceforth the universe for her as it was for him, that he should grow old there, and that she would grow up there, that she would grow old there, and that he should die there; that, in short, delightful hope, no separation was possible. On reflecting upon this, he fell into perplexity. He interrogated himself. He asked himself if all that happiness were really his, if it were not composed of the happiness of another, of the happiness of that child which he, an old man, was confiscating and stealing; if that were not theft? He said to himself, that this child had a right to know life before renouncing it, that to deprive her in advance, and in some sort without consulting her, of all joys, under the pretext of saving her from all trials, to take advantage of her ignorance of her isolation, in order to make an artificial vocation germinate in her, was to rob a human creature of its nature and to lie to God. And who knows if, when she came to be aware of all this some day, and found herself a nun to her sorrow, Cosette would not come to hate him? A last, almost selfish thought, and less heroic than the rest, but which was intolerable to him. He resolved to quit the convent. [Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (1862), Volume IV – Saint-Denis; Book Third – The House in the Rue Plumet, Chapter I, The House With a Secret.]