Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Birthday to Celebrate

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.

2 comments:

barbara judge said...

Interesting that you remember the music from your first trek to the Himalayas. Music is such an important aspect of ones life. Evan Dementia does not eliminate that part of the brain that remembers music yet might have taken away most of the person's other memories. Music is so important for all ages. I recently saw this film that really had an impact on me. Here is the trailer: http://www.aliveinside.us/#trailer
Hope you get a chance to see it. Thanks for jogging my mind about the importance of music. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks, Barbara, I'll watch the trailer and see about watching the whole time. Not long ago I read Oliver Sacks book, Musicophilia (if I remember the title right) He wrote about music inhabiting a different part of the brain -- one that is all its own.