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Curses

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Gray
17258.  Thu Apr 07, 2005 5:32 am Reply with quote

Quote:
Blast!

(Opening line, The Curse of Frankenstein, The Goon Show, Series 8, Episode 18)

 
eggshaped
17944.  Wed Apr 20, 2005 5:15 am Reply with quote

Today’s Guardian has an article on the so-called Iceman Curse, [scary voice] mysterious deaths have come to a number of people who were involved in the discovery and transportation of Otzi, the dead Icemen famously found in the alps in the 90s. [/scary voice].

Unfortunately the story has not appeared on the net yet, and I can’t paraphrase cos I’ve left the paper in my car, but it has many echoes of the Tutankhamen nonsense, as posted above.

Story to follow.

 
ryewacket
18811.  Mon May 02, 2005 4:03 pm Reply with quote

Quote:
In classical music the curse of the ninth is a fear of the 9th Symphony among composers. The origin of the curse stems from the surprising number of major composers who died after completing nine symphonies, or even in the course of writing their ninth.

The music of Beethoven, Schubert, Dvořák and Vaughan Williams fall in the former category; Bruckner in the latter.

The curse has affected a number of noted composers. Gustav Mahler
(Austrian composer and conductor (1860-1911)) was so afraid of it that he did not call his ninth symphonic work a symphony, rather labeling it Das Lied von der Erde. He finished this work unscathed, only to die while working on his tenth.

The first really notable composer after Beethoven to complete more than nine symphonies was Dmitri Shostakovich, who lived decades after completing his ninth and wrote six more symphonies in that time. Less well known composers had broken the "curse" before him, however - the 19th century composer Joachim Raff, quite well known in his day, wrote eleven symphonies, for example.

The curse still holds weight with a number of modern composers. Malcolm Arnold has no intention on writing another after his ninth. Roger Sessions also never wrote more than nine.

Some symphonies that are now listed as 9th symphonies were originally published under different numbers and have been renumbered by musicologists in recent years. This has nothing to do with the curse of the ninth but simply the order in which they were published rather than the order in which they were written. For example, Schubert's Symphony in C "The Great" was originally published as his 7th, although it postdated his unfinished 8th symphony. Dvořák's Symphony in E minor "From the New World" was originally published as his 5th.


http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/encyclopedia/C/Cu/Curse_of_the_ninth.htm

(Not mentioned by this passage is the fact that Bruckner actually numbered his symphonies from zero to cheat the curse).

What the hell this has to do with astronomy (as per the link), I have no idea, but there you go. Unless it's somehow related to the Music of the Spheres.

 
eggshaped
18929.  Tue May 03, 2005 10:14 am Reply with quote

Garrick’s post reminds me that I haven’t yet posted the iceman curse link:

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2005/04/21/2003251351

 
MatC
19830.  Wed May 11, 2005 9:46 am Reply with quote

In The Independent 5 May 2005, Jo Brand was asked “Does Hastings get a bad press?” She replied: “Well, it gets a bad press from me. I heard a myth that Aleister Crowley spent his last days in a bedsit in Hastings and cursed it, but that turned out to be Eastbourne.”

 
MatC
20148.  Sat May 14, 2005 7:39 am Reply with quote

A few more details re the Carlisle story which began this thread:

Fortean Times 197 (p.24) reports a “Cursing Stone” commissioned by councillors in Carlisle as part of the city’s millennium celebrations. It’s a 14 ton granite boulder, which cost Ł10,000, inscribed with 383 words of a 16th century, 1069-word curse, known as the Mother of all Curses. According to a LibDem councillor - with the inescapably Liberal name of Tim Tootle - since the curse was installed, the city has suffered disasters “of Biblical proportions,” including the foot and mouth plague, the worst floods since 1882, a serious fire, massive job losses, and the relegation of Carlisle United FC.

In March, the council debated a resolution to have the cursed stone placed outside ye boundaries of ye city, but the motion only got two votes: one from Cllr Tootle, and one from another of his LibDem colleagues (whose name isn't given; probably because it was just so funny they didn't dare print it).

 
alfy
117161.  Thu Nov 16, 2006 9:59 am Reply with quote

[quote="garrick92"][quote]In classical music the curse of the ninth is a fear of the 9th Symphony among composers. The origin of the curse stems from the surprising number of major composers who died after completing nine symphonies, or even in the course of writing their ninth.

The music of Beethoven, Schubert, Dvořák and Vaughan Williams fall in the former category; Bruckner in the latter.

The curse has affected a number of noted composers. Gustav Mahler
(Austrian composer and conductor (1860-1911)) was so afraid of it that he did not call his ninth symphonic work a symphony, rather labeling it Das Lied von der Erde. He finished this work unscathed, only to die while working on his tenth.

quote]

This is one of those things that people know about Mahler, but it puzzles me. The story would be fine if Das Lied von der Erde were actually a symphony, but it isn't. OK, maybe he avoided writing his 9th Symphony and wrote a song cycle instead, but to say he wrote a symphony and superstitiously didn't call it a symphony is just wrong. (The Ninth is sublime by the way, as are the sections of the Tenth he managed to complete).

 
marjan
863685.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 8:54 am Reply with quote

It is commonly believed that just as Arnold Schoenberg was very superstitious about the number 13 Mahler feared "9," at least for numbering his symphonies. Schoenberg's fear of 13 manifested itself in at least two interesting ways: For his opera, Moses und Aron, he deliberately wrote the name Aaron as "Aron," so that the opera's title would not have thirteen letters. Also, in numbering the measures of his compositions, he used 12, 12a, 14, to avoid the number 13! Schoenberg also feared number 9. In a memorial speech on October 12, 1912, he declared: "It seems that the Ninth is a limit. He who wants to go beyond it must pass away. It seems as if that something might be imparted to us in the Tenth, which we ought not yet to know, for which we are not yet ready. Those who have written a Ninth have stood too near to the hereafter. Perhaps the riddle of the world would be solved if one of those who knew them were to write the Tenth, and that is probably not to take place."

 

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