Truth and Beauty

I have been hard at work, more or less. There is a beautiful piece we are practicing called Magnum Mysterium, a choral piece by Lauridsen, arranged for band by Robert Reynolds. We have played it twice and the sound of it is carved into my brain. It is so beautiful. Everyone in the room knows it is. There is no disagreement here! I have to believe there is something objectively beautiful about such works, that they speak to an inner organ residing inside every human, in some dormant and in others awake and alive. The response to such beauty transcends the purely learned, the culturally formed, and begins to touch the universal, that which was, is, and always shall be–that which, by all rights ought to be.

The inner antenna for beauty knows by nature how to respond to the truly beautiful, if only the ear or the eye is properly formed. Recognition of and love of the truly beautiful may not belong in the category of things we can’t not know*, but they could be things we can’t keep from learning, if we are given half a chance.

Truth and Beauty, 2 sides of a coin.

*Sorry about that triple negative. It is necessary, the thought doesn’t arrive without it.

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Posted in beauty. 2 Comments »

2 Responses to “Truth and Beauty”

  1. benthegreen Says:

    Beauty is a great mystery.

  2. johnfretham Says:

    I find it hard to listen to a live performance of this piece of music (the choral or band arrangement) without shedding a tear. Is it beauty, is it truth, is it a programmed response emanating from my emotional limbic system? Or is it the beauty of “The Truth?” (My first encounter with the piece, the band arrangement with only the text of the title, was based on my Lutheran understanding of Christ and His mysterious justification and sanctification of a sinner like me. The actual text would leave a confessional Lutheran slightly uneasy despite its beauty.)


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