It's Beethoven's birthday! Maybe it was yesterday because he was baptized on the 17th and that was usually the day after a birth. It makes no difference, what matters is his music. Music that no one else could write. I'm not a musicologist just a music lover. I was listening in a particularly thoughtful mood one day last summer and felt I had discovered something that told me he never wrote anything that did not have a particularly strong pulse -- a heart beat, a footstep and that no one else had that particular underlying life force. This may not be a new idea but it was a strong feeling that I had identified what is totally true at the heart of everything he wrote.
Recently my daughter Leslie requested a new CD of the Pastoral -- Symphony #6 -- it's her go-to music when life seems difficult. I didn't know that my frequent listening to Beethoven when she was growing up had that effect. I love the symphonies, the piano concertos, many of the piano sonatas, the quartets. Last night "my" radio station, the local classical music station, WFCC, played the violin concerto. On my first trek in the Himalayas I took a little CD player and just a couple of CDs because I was limited to a not very heavy -=--- so I took only Mahler's First Symphony and Beethovan's Violin Concerto. Alone in my tent, before falling asleep -- tired but exhilarated to be in a great pasture at Thenbeoche Monastery with Everest less than 20 miles away on the horizon, those two pieces of music seemed the most appropriate possible in that setting ... that and, the next day, a folk song all the local Sherpa people were singing for their harvest festival.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!