GINGRICH IS MENDELSSOHN. RON PAUL IS HAYDN. ROMNEY IS BACH. BACHMANN IS VIVALDI. RICK PERRY IS HANDEL. SANTORUM IS SAINT HILDEGARD

Take Note: I wish readers to know that the research herein is the result of the hard work of Wikipedia contributors, from whom I liberally borrowed.  I merely take credit for connecting dots.

Gingrich is Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn, d. 1847

Mendelssohn was born in one religion, but switched to another. He grew up an intellectual, and had cultivated the image of one from an early age.

Although memoirs usually present him as an equable, happy and placid in temperament, this was misleading. Mendelssohn was frequently given to alarming fits of temper.

There was a conservative strain in Mendelssohn, which set him apart from some of his more flamboyant contemporaries; yet, he was influenced by them in many ways and throughout his life.  He ventured from symphony to opera to chamber music to choral works.

He is widely known for his articulate piano-playing, with its amazing elasticity of touch, rapidity, and power; next he is famous for his scientific and vigorous organ playing.

Ronald Reagan with Newt Gingrich in 1985

Fellow conservatives were irked by his popularity and abandonment of his religion, but were forced to provide him with faint praise. To the Nazis, ‘Mendelssohn was presented as a dangerous “accident” of music history, who played a decisive role in rendering German music in the 19th century “degenerate.” The monument dedicated to Mendelssohn erected in Leipzig in 1892 was removed by the Nazis in 1936. A replacement was erected in 2008.

Modern opinion both praises and criticizes the composer, calling him a “genius” and “profound.” One critic postulates that in his later years, without losing his craft or genius, the Mendelssohn “renounced … his daring” As the critic H. L. Mencken concluded, if Mendelssohn indeed missed true greatness, he missed it “by a hair.”

 ***

Ron Paul is Haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn, d. 1809

Haydn was an Austrian to the core.

He is one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the “Father of the Symphony.”

A lifelong resident of Austria, Haydn spent much of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Esterházy family on their remote estate. Isolated from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his long life, he was, as he put it, “forced to become original.”

Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul, b. 1935

During the nearly thirty years that Haydn worked at the Esterházy court, he produced a flood of compositions, and his musical style continued to develop. His popularity in the outside world also increased.

Haydn had a robust sense of humor, evident in his love of practical jokes.

Haydn was short in stature, perhaps as a result of having been underfed throughout most of his youth. He was not handsome. His biographer Dies wrote, “he couldn’t understand how it happened that in his life he had been loved by many a pretty woman.”

 ***

Romney is Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach, d. 1750

His compositions are revered for their intellectual depth, technical command and artistic beauty. One man describes Bach’s work as a “…robust contrapuntal technique, an unrivalled control of harmonic and motivic organization, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms and textures from abroad…”

Bach was proud of his family’s musical achievements, and around 1735 he drafted a genealogy, “Origin of the musical Bach family”. He had strong family connections and a musically enthusiastic employer.  

Bach’s inventive genius was almost entirely directed towards working within the structures he inherited, according to most critics and historians. His successes early in his career appear to have set him on course to develop an eclectic,

Willard Mitt Romney, b. 1947

energetic musical style in which foreign influences were injected into an intensified version of the pre-existing German musical language. Bach was regarded at one time as being on one extreme end of the spectrum, notating most or all of the details of his melodic lines—particularly in his fast movements—thus leaving little for performers to interpolate.

Bach’s harmony is marked by a tendency to employ brief tonicisation—subtle references to another key that lasts for only a few beats at the longest. It is likely that his detailed notation was less an absolute demand on the performer and more a response to a 17th-century culture in which the boundary between what the performer could embellish and what the composer demanded to be authentic was being negotiated.

Bach was a religious man, and could not hold back from inserting his theological views when composing music.

 ***

Bachmann is Vivaldi

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, d. 1741

Vivaldi is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers. Many of his compositions were written for the female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi worked from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740. His works are mostly intended for female singers.

Vivaldi’s music was well received at first, but it later declined in popularity until a vigorous revival in the first half of the 20th century.

Michele Marie Bachmann, b. 1956

Today, Vivaldi ranks among the most popular and widely recorded Baroque composers. he never reached the prominence of other great composers like Alessandro Scarlatti, Leonardo Leo, and Baldassare Galuppi, as evidenced by his inability to keep a production running for any period of time in any major opera house.

The final years of Vivaldi’s life found him in financial difficulties. His compositions were no longer held in such high esteem as they once were in Venice; changing musical tastes quickly made them outmoded.

 ***

Rick Perry is Handel

George Frideric Handel, d. 1759

Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music. In 1737 he had a breakdown, and changed direction creatively by addressing the middle class. After his success with Messiah (1742) he never performed an Italian opera again. In April 1737, at age 52 Handel apparently suffered a stroke which disabled the use of four fingers on his right hand, preventing him from performing. In summer the disorder seemed at times to affect his understanding. Nobody expected that Handel would ever be able to perform again.

James Richard "Rick" Perry

But whether the affliction was rheumatism, a stroke or a nervous breakdown, he recovered remarkably quickly.

Handel has generally been accorded high esteem by fellow composers, both in his own time and since. Mozart is reputed to have said of him, “Handel understands affect better than any of us. When he chooses, he strikes like a thunder bolt.”

He died a respected and rich man.

 ***

Santorum is Saint Hildegard

Richard John "Rick" Santorum, b. 1958

Popular when the first millennium hysteria was ending, Hildegard of Bingen was a writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath. Elected a magistra by her fellow nuns in 1136, she founded several  monasteries. One of her works as a composer, the Ordo Virtutum, is an early example of liturgical drama.

Hildegard’s visionary writings maintain that virginity is the highest level of the spiritual life; however, she also wrote about secular life, including motherhood. In addition, there are many instances, both in her letters and visions, that decry the misuse of carnal pleasures. She condemns the sins of same-sex couplings. For instance, in Scivias Book II Vision Six.78:

“… God united man and woman, thus joining the strong to the weak, that each might sustain the other. But these perverted adulterers change their virile strength into perverse weakness, rejecting the proper male and female roles, and in their wickedness they shamefully follow Satan, who in his pride sought to split and divide Him Who is indivisible. They create in themselves by their wicked deeds a strange and perverse adultery, and so appear polluted and shameful in my sight…”

Hildegard also invented an alternative alphabet. The text of her writing and compositions reveals Hildegard’s use of this form of modified medieval Latin, encompassing many invented, conflated and abridged word. Due to her inventions of words for her lyrics and a constructed script, many conlangers look upon her as a medieval precursor. Scholars believe that Hildegard used her Lingua Ignota to increase solidarity among her nuns.

Hildegard was one of the first persons for whom the canonization process was officially applied, but the process took so long that four attempts at canonization were not completed, and she remained at the level of her beatification.

 ***

Herman Cain is Shubert

Franz Peter Schubert, d. 1828

Schubert is admired as one of the leading exponents of the early Romantic era in music and he remains one of the most frequently performed composers.

His father, Franz Theodor Schubert, the son of a Moravian peasant, was a parish schoolmaster; his mother, Elisabeth Vietz, had been a housemaid for a Viennese family prior to her marriage.

Franz Peter Schubert died at an early age and at the peak of his career. Appreciation of Schubert’s music during his lifetime was limited, but interest in his work increased dramatically in the decades following his death at the age of 31.

Shubert was accused of sexual impropriety, a thesis that has been heatedly debated. Musicologist and Schubert expert, Rita Steblin, demonstrated in many studies, based on documentary evidence, that there was no foundation in the claim. Due to the scandal, Shubert decided not to resume his teaching duties and was taken in by friends. For a time, he attempted to increase the household resources by giving music lessons, but they were soon abandoned, and he devoted himself to composition.

 ***

Huntsman is Philip Glass

Philip Glass

Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer and one of the highest profile composers writing “classical” music today. He is often said by industry experts to be one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century. Most laypeople have never heard of him.

Glass describes himself as “a Jewish-Taoist-Hindu-Toltec-Buddhist.” His work is described as “minimalist,” though Glass distances himself from this label.

 ***

Gary Johnson is Leopold Mozart

He has a name that people recognize, but few listen to him.  And when they do, most confuse him with another man.

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15 Comments on “GINGRICH IS MENDELSSOHN. RON PAUL IS HAYDN. ROMNEY IS BACH. BACHMANN IS VIVALDI. RICK PERRY IS HANDEL. SANTORUM IS SAINT HILDEGARD”

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