Mahler’s god Pan and Nature/Παν awaken

Piano Poetry Pantelis Politics

Gustav Mahler’s massive 3rd Symphony (1893-96), which calls for 200 musicians, a women’s choir of 300, and a boy’s choir of 200, is the longest symphony in the standard repertoire, lasting over an hour and a half. The composer considered various programmatic titles for the entire work, and one of them was “Pan,” because he was intrigued by the Greek noun’s two meanings, the name for a god and for “all.”  I identify the same double function in the component “Pan-” of the first name of Pantelis Polychronidis, my “other self” – that is, in a noun denoting both division (a divinity who is half-man, half-animal) and unity (nature as a divinity which is unified).

How can we acknowledge publicly this double absolute that every great friend in our lives incarnates, the extreme meanings of the unique and divided vs. the cosmic and whole? How can we celebrate special…

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