How to Sing the Practical Sound of the Enigma By Alessio Tommasoli

  1. Arioso

      In this way the reader finds the rhythm of the Zarathsutra’s sound, the rhythm of time that keeps coming back, again and again, but under his control, by his will and his decision. It is a sound whose artistic form expresses the dynamism of the same human existence and drives it to its limit: to want the pain in order to turn it into a pleasure. Here is the “Arioso” of the opera, a moment in which the form of the sound is recited in a way that highlights the passionate movement of the words: it is the Thus Spoke Zarathsutra’s chapter titled “The Sleepwalker Song”.[14]

      Nevertheless, in the latter mentioned words, Zarathustra is speaking to some “higher men”, that is to say some person who have gone beyond “the small virtues, the small sagacities, the infinite sense of respect, the rolling swarm of ant’s small business, the miserable pleasure, the happiness of the majority”.

      Consequently Zarathsutra is speaking to the ears of a specific reader, the one who tried to sing his sound. Even if he did not do so well, he is now an active reader who overcame his listener passive condition. He is a reader who made a distinction between his existential condition and himself, who can watch critically what happens from the right distance, who arised from the engulfment of what occurred or who reconciled his own detachment.

     5. Concertato

      Hence Zarathustra can now sing together with such a reader, because this latter is now the ethical man who is “free from” and to whom he can teach how to be “free to” – do, act, make, create. Therefore Zarathsutra can now leads the singing of the will to power together with some “higher men” to whom he shows the route towards the Übermensch. It is such a fairy-tale taught by a father to his child, through which he explains him that he has to grow up and pass through the “The Three Metamorphoses”.[15] Here is the “Concertato” of the opera, the moment in which some lead vocals sing together in a difficult game, so to express the dramatic and psychological relevance of the action.

      The difficult game that the lead vocals are playing here expresses concretely the hard route towards the “will to power” concept and shows the chorus of the whole opera, as a refrain that was born in The Gay Science and repeats stronger in Thus Spoke Zarathustra: “You shall become what you are”[16].

      Such an imperative is a real practical commending that support the whole opera, as a chorus does. The reader can now sing the sound of the enigma as a single part of this chorus, not just thoughtlessly following its rhythm, but acting the words that it sings. Thus, singing this sound for the reader means to accept his own changing identity (self-consciousness) and to want it; it means to produce something from the indeterminateness through the creativity of his own act; it means to get an answer to the ancestral matter (“How can we stand the truth without denying the life?”) and to all its possible variations.

      Above all, singing the sound of Zarathustra’s enigma means to get the opportunity to dominate time and to want everything, the future, the present and the past time too: “You must want what you have been and what you are in order to be what you want”.

     6. Finale

      However, even if he sang the whole sound, the reader cannot be considered as an Übermensch. He is a “higher man”, it is sure, he is close to be “the son” of Zarathsutra, but he is still restrained inside his human condition. That is because, even if he reached the balance for a while, he is still vulnerable to the imbalance and to some moralistic ideas, like Pity and Compassion. It is what happens in the final chapter of Thus Spoke Zaratuhstra, “The Sign”: the higher men are still sleeping and dreaming the sound of Zarathustra as some drunken songs and they do not like the entire and complex opera.[17]

      It seems to be the “Finale” of the opera, the closing moment in which several voices can meld together like goes here, where Zarathustra’s voice melds with the narrator’s voice, so to give an impressive conclusion that makes the reader once more dazed and confused.

  1. Intermezzo

      But while the theatre’s curtain falls, it starts to play a musical interlude that let the reader understand that the sound of the enigma continues and the opera is about to go on. Thus it was just the final moment of the first act that is connected to the second act through an intermission, as a prelude that is the “Intermezzo” of the opera: “Thinking, feeling, willing in all living beings. What is a pleasure but; an excitation of the feeling of power by an obstacle (even more strongly by rhythmic obstacles and resistances) – so it swells up. Thus all pleasure includes pain – if the pleasure is to be very great, the pains must be very protracted and the tension of the bow tremendous”.[18]

      The reader is surprised because these are not the words of Zarathustra, even if it is still the sound of the enigma. In such a symphonic interlude, Nietzsche is the narrator himself, so that he does not need any conceptual character and says his words directly to the reader, as if he looks at this latter as a higher man quite ready to overcome his nature.

      Hence it should not astonish the reader that the book from which this sound comes is exactly named “The Will to Power”, the concept that now he should represent as the new conceptual character.  However “The Will to Power” is just the name of a controversial collection of some of Nietzsche’s notes and aphorisms wrote during the psychotic breakdown of his last years, therefore it has a fragmented and confused form.

      However the surprising discovery of a second act of the Nietzsche’s philosophy opera, places the reader on the right route towards the übermensch, so that he cannot refuse it and he needs a help to fix the broken sound of the enigma in order to set up its pieces and finally sing a complete sound.

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