Many of us live as though we were half asleep. Spiritual vitality is the opposite of that. It is the creative component of spirituality, its strength.
Technical and Analytical Readings
- Daniel N. Stern, Forms of Vitality: Exploring Dynamic Experience in Psychology, the Arts, Psychotherapy and Development (Oxford University Press, 2010).
- Thomas Cleary, Vitality, Energy, Spirit: A Taoist Sourcebook (Shambhala, 2009).
- David Michaelis, Eleanor (Simon & Schuster, 2020): “Her energy level always seemed to be someplace between prodigious and terrifying.”
- Marc Chagall, The Circus (1964)
- Georgia O'Keeffe, Oriental Poppies II
- Wassily Kandinsky, Colourful Ensemble, (1938)
- Francis Picabia, Autumn Effect (1905)
Film and Stage
- Much Ado About Nothing (Branagh): a lively rendition of Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, of which the Bard surely would approve, heartily
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Jean Sibelius’ intent for his Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 105 (1924), was to compose a work expressing the “Joy of life and vitality”. “Cast in one movement, it eschews the traditional four-movement structure used in most symphonies since the late 18th century. Despite its unique structure, it grows organically from the first few measures to become one of the most original and profound symphonic works in the repertoire.” “The music commentator Donald Francis Tovey compared the experience of listening to Sibelius’s Seventh to the sensation of flying in an aircraft. 'An aeronaut carried with the wind . . . has no sense of movement at all. . . . He moves in the air and can change his pace without breaking his movement.'” “It’s tribute to the huge emotional power of Sibelius’s music that it produces . . . wildly divergent interpretations . . .” Top performances were conducted by Beecham in 1940, Mravinsky in 1965, Karajan in 1968, Rattle in 1985, Bernstein in 1988, Berglund in 1997, Järvi in 2005, Davis in 2016, Vänskä in 2016 and Mäkelä in 2021. Here are links to live performances conducted by Bernstein and Elder.
Antonio Vivaldi composed several series of violin concerti, including his La Stravaganza (The Extravagance), Op. 4.
- Concerto 1 in B flat major, RV 383a
- Concerto 2 in E minor, RV 279
- Concerto 3 in G major, RV 301
- Concerto 4 in A minor, RV 357
- Concerto 5 in A major, RV 347
- Concerto 6 in G minor, RV 316a
- Concerto 7 in C minor, RV 567
- Concerto 8 in D minor, RV 249
- Concerto 9 in F major, RV 284
- Concerto 10 in C minor, RV 196
- Concerto 11 in D major, RV 204
- Concerto 12 in G major, RV 298
- Barber, Symphony No. 1 in One Movement, Op. 9 (1936), modeled on Sibelius’ Symphony No. 7
- Braga Santos, Symphonic Variations on a Popular Song from the Alentejo, Op. 18, (1951)
- Raga Natbhairav (Nat Bhairav), a Hindustani classical early morning raag (performances by Abhisheki, Sahasrabuddhe and Banerjee)
- In Tokyo on April 16, 1979, jazz pianist Keith Jarrett, saxophonist/flautist Jan Garbarek, double-bassist Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen performed an exceptionally vibrant set, now available as “Sleeper”.
- Alexander von Schilppenbach, “Berlin Contemporary Jazz Orchestra”
- Reggie Quinerly, “New York Nowhere”, on the vitality of New York city, and the leader-drummer’s experiences in it; he explains and interviews on the work.
- Jonathan Blake, “Trion”
- Barry Altschul’s 3Dom Factor, “Long Tall Sunshine”
- Lauren Sevian, “Blueprint”
- Trio Casals, “Moto Quarto” (2019): “. . . zestfully interpreting nine new American compositions – virtually all of them either tailor-made or arranged for the ensemble.”