Becoming actively involved in the world and in the lives of others is the ethical-active component of openness. The attitude is one not only of generosity but of joy, born of an open heart and an open mind.
People do not always extend a hearty welcome to others seeking to enter their country, even for the best of reasons. Immigration narratives illustrate some difficulties encountered along the way to welcoming others.
- Hiroshi Motomura, Americans in Waiting: The Lost Story of Immigration and Citizenship in the United States (Oxford University Press, 2006).
- Lucy E. Salyer, Laws Harsh as Tigers: Chinese Immigrants and the Shaping of Modern Immigration Law (University of North Carolina Press, 1995).
- Rachel Buff, Immigrant Rights In the Shadows of Citizenship (NYU Press, 2008).
- Jia Lynn Yang, One Mighty and Irrestistable Tide: The Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965 (W.W. Norton & Company, 2020): focusing “on the opening of America’s doors in 1965 to those once excluded . . .”
- Norman Rockwell, And the Symbol of Welcome Is Light (1920)
- René Magritte, The Window (1925)
- Georges Braque, Harbor in Normandy (1909)
- Paul Gaugin, Breton Girls Dancing at Pont-Avon (1888)
- Georges Seurat, Harbor in Honfleur (1886)
Film and Stage
Catholic priests have been subjects of several films illustrating the virtue of welcoming in the negative.
- Diary of a Country Priest, abouta mentally tortured priest who tries to minister to a remote French village
- Priest, a lookat the “tortured soul of a gay priest”
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Franz Joseph Haydn’s two cello concerti drip with graciousness and generosity of spirit. Each set in a major key, and following a standard fast/moderate-slow-fast format, they bear the unmistakable ebullience of a Haydn composition. The value of welcoming, or open-handedness is clearly identifiable on listening. Top recorded performances of the two concerti together are by Rostropovich in 1975, Coin in 1982, Mørk in 1991, Isserlis in 1996, Chang in 1998, Gautier Capuçon in 2002, Queyras in 2003, Weilerstein in 2018, Croisé in 2019, and Poltéra in 2022. Haydn, Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Hob. VIIb:1 (1761-1765) (approx. 25’), “is one of the most successful of Haydn’s works in the form, perhaps because it breaks through the limits of the Baroque concerto, enriching the ritornello with themes that are so full of subordinate ideas that they allow a greater variety of material.” “. . . Haydn composed this work to please the brilliant cellist, Joseph Franz Weigl, who was a member of Prince Esterházy’s excellent orchestra at Eisenstadt and the magnificent summer palace known as Esterházá, located now in Fertőd, Hungary.” “The main theme of the Moderato is the best sort of melody: cheerful, hummable, an earworm that one wouldn’t mind running through their head for most of the day. The Adagio is gorgeously ecclesiastic, reminiscent of Baroque-era slow movements in its harmonic progressions and breathy phrasing. The Finale: Allegro molto is light and enchanting.” Top recordings of the first concerto are by Sádlo in 1963, du Pré in 1967, and Gabetta in 2009. Haydn, Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Major, Hob. VIIb:2 (1783) (approx. 27’), less well-known, is similar in character to Concerto No. 1. A top recording of the second concerto is by du Pré in 1967.
Orchestra Boabab, “Pirates Choice” album, is Senegalese music influenced by Cuban and other Latin music. The way the players embrace music from across the ocean makes this a suitable entry for this topic. This disc is among the finest of all international recordings.
Youssou N’Dour is a Senegalese singer who describes his approach as Pan-African: “What all of us Africans share is more important than what we don’t share.” His album, “The Guide (Wonmat)”, offers numerous enticements for listeners outside Senegal, the employment of several well-known artists from outside Africa being less important than the creative spirit and artistry of the music.
Another Senegalese artist, Ismael Lo, has drawn on European influences. Here is a playlist.
Khadja Nin is a singer from Burundi whose songs display a similar openness of spirit.
Luciano Biondini is an Italian jazz accordionist who pairs with a wide variety of other instruments, welcoming each of them into his musical world – quite apart from his openness in bringing the accordion into the jazz world. His albums include:
- “Lo Stortino”, with Gabriele Mirabassi, Michel Godard & Francesco D’Auria, clarinet, tuba & percussion (2000)
- “El Cacerolazo”, with Javier Girotto, saxophone (2002)
- “Fuori le Mura”, with Gabriele Mirabassi, clarinet (2003)
- “Terra Madre”, with Javier Girotto, saxophone (2005)
- “Variazioni su Tema”, with Rita Marcotulli & Javier Girotto, piano & saxophone (2011)
- “Face to Face”, with Fabrizio Bosso, trumpet (2013)
- “La Strada Invisible”, with Rita Marcotulli, piano (2014)
- “Dialogues”, with Mirco Mariottini & Stefano Maurizi, clarinet & piano (2021)
- “Once in a Blue Moon”, with Klaus Falschlunger, sitar (2022)
- “Mavì”, with Michel Godard & Lucas Niggli, tuba & percussion (2022)
Compositions from the Western Classical idiom:
- Franck, Symphonic Variations (Variations symphoniques), M46 (1885): trying new things, in the open where everyone can see and hear
- Dvořák, Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 21, B51 (1880)
- Borodin, Symphony No. 1 in E-flat Major (1867)
- Alfvén, Den forlorade sonen (The Prodigal Son) Suite (1957)
- Boccherini, Flute Quintets, Op. 17, G 419-424 and Flute Quintets, G 437-442
- María Cristina Kehr, Krishnasol Jiménez and Roberto Koch, “Navigating Foreign Waters: Spanish Baroque Music and Mexican Folk Music” (ignoring the tragic history of Spanish-Mexican relations in the Baroque era)
- Sahar Mustafah, The Beauty of Your Face: A Novel (W.W. Norton, 2020): “The first 14 pages of Mustafah’s novel take place during a school shooting. We see the events unfold from two perspectives — the shooter’s (glancingly) and the school principal’s.” [on the acceptance of an immigrant in a school after a shooting]
Music: songs and other short pieces
- Jakob Bro, “Welcome”