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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

So Beautiful It Makes Me Cry

This post is a bit of a departure for me. I generally write about food, specifically what we ate for dinner. But I have been so inspired by a recent purchase that I thought I would share it with you.

 I love music, especially music that can play in the background without overpowering whatever I am doing.  I can't say I prefer one genre over another particularly, but there are a few I can do without. I am totally out of the rap demo.  I don't pretend to understand it or its appeal.  Hip-hop I can take in small doses, but again I am just too old to enjoy it. I can listen to some heavy metal, but I did notice something as I got older. When I was younger I loved to literally be able to feel the music.  The last time I was listening to live heavy metal I had fantastic seats, about 5 rows back, and wondered the entire time if the pounding drum beats  and relentless bass that were slamming into my chest could affect the rhythm of my heart. So I marked off heavy metal unless I am listening to it at home and can control both the bass and volume. Again I am too old to properly appreciate it.  About the only other genre I don't listen to is C/W.  I can enjoy some good old time country like Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Charlie Pride, Waylon Jennings and such but I don't like the new crossover country western at all. I have no idea why I don't like it,  I just don't.

There are many types of music that I can listen to and really enjoy.  Give me some Motown and I am right there with you dancing and singing. The same goes for Phish and String Cheese Incident.  I will sing bad backups while listening to do wap singers, will belt out lyrics to show tunes in a heart beat, and have been known to sing and dance to Raffi.  (Understand all this singing and dancing is happening in my home while no one is here but me. I do not have the performance gene.) Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are the bomb and I listen to her regularly, but will also listen to crooners then follow it up with a little Buckwheat Zydeco. Still, there are a couple of genres that own me and I can listen to them all day without ever getting tired of them.

I adore jazz in all shapes and forms except for some avant-garde jazz and some free jazz.  That can get a little out there and too tedious for me.  I suppose I am not hip enough to understand it.  Oh well! Anytime I am down in the dumps I can listen to jazz and immediately feel brighter, plus it puts a spring in my step and makes my head nod while keeping time.  I don't even realize I am doing it, butI am called out on it regularly. (For the record,  as much as jazz musicians love and rely on audience participation while they are playing do not insult them by clapping rhythmically on the 1 and 3!)

I also love classical music.  I don't think I have ever met any I can't at the least be friends with. I am quite certain the cello is the closest thing to a voice from heaven that human ears will ever hear. (Though french horns and violas give it a close run for its money, and I can't forget the oboe can I?)

I love the romantics, the wonderful counterpoint of the baroque, waltzes, heavy ponderous Russian composers, scores for ballets and operas, madrigals from the Renaissance period, and the neo-classicals of the 20th century. Imagine my surprise and delight a couple of days ago when I found The 50 Greatest Classical Pieces by the London Philharmonic on Itunes for $5.99. This should link to the album.

Now, I need more music like I need another hole in my head, in fact I have all of these pieces on cd's and/or vinyl from decades of collecting music, but now I have them all together in one easy to access collection and have been listening to it non-stop since purchasing it. I really do like each piece, but a few of them have been favorites of mine since I was a young girl.  My family listened to music each night with dinner, usually classical. Sometimes as a part of after dinner conversation (and yes we had a set time for conversation before we could ask to be excused from the table) Dad would go to the stereo ( and yes I am that old) and select an album, put the needle down randomly and we would name the piece. (Until I typed that I didn't realize how weird we were. This activity is also why MyBeloved Sister and I can sing so many Broadway songs)

 One of my favorites Bacarolle from Tales of the Hoffman was a song I would listen to while My Younger Beloved Sister was napping. I would have been about 3 1/2  then I was probably supposed to nap also, but instead was very quiet so I could listen to music.  Another on the album is Adagio for Strings. A lot of people remember it from the movie Platoon, but it haunted me long before that.  I heard it at an open air symphony in the park when I in jr. high. Whenever I hear it I am transported back to that time. Then there is Finlandia, which I listened to with my Dad.  It was his favorite piece of music and he always asked us to have it played at his funeral. We honored his request and had it played, but now instead of sitting with Dad and listening to it as we always did, I heard it, marveled at its very simple beauty and cried.


If you like classical music it is well worth the money, and if you don't like classical music it would be a total waste of your 6 bucks so don't purchase it!

I feel very fortunate to have grown up in a house where music was accessible, encouraged and very much appreciated.  For the record though not all music at our house was appreciated.  I can remember Dad being totally disgusted that the same piece of electronics that delivered his beloved classics would also play The Beatles, James Brown, The Doors, Motown, Janis Joplin, Black Sabbath etc. at full volume.

Love you Dad and thanks!

Bacarolle


18 comments:

  1. How lovely.
    Musical appreciation has largely passed me by - but I am well aware that I am the loser.

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    1. I never had to chance for it to pass me by, but so many other things did!

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  2. It sounds like we are in the same ago demographic Anne. I grew up in the 60's listening to top 40 AM radio and then in the 70's listening to what was called "progressive rock FM radio. If anyone wanted to torture me, they'd lock me in a room playing today's C/W music. I too like the old timey country stuff though like Hank Williams and my hubby loves classical. Have you ever seen the movie Moonrise Kingdom? It's quirky but has a great soundtrack and the kids in it listen to these records that explain all the instruments in classical music. There's also some old timey country music in it too.

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    1. I have not seen Moonrise Kingdom but have made a note to watch it. Quirky films are right up my alley!

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  3. You had a wonderful father!!! You are blessed.
    I'm not into C/W but Den got a guitar for Christmas and that is all he plays. I can say that listening to him has helped me get a better appreciation for it.
    I love metal and dance music. But I have recently gotten into jazz/blues/funk. I love The Heavy and The Black Keys. Oh and Adele is really doing it for me lately. Youtube Hard row by the black keys. Love it.

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    1. If you like Jazzfunk fusion try Us3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty0paiNlx0w It is a jazz/funk/rap fusion that is pretty decent to listen to.
      Adele has an incredible set of Pipes

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  4. Oh to have had the pleasure of growing up in your house!
    My parents had a few records, mostly of the Montavani "psuedo-classical music" type. lolz

    https://youtu.be/__tm_j8FPl0


    And then there were the Henry Mancini records(but not the 'cool' Pink Panther ones) and a few show tunes done up a la "light" classical.

    Yeah, I had to leave home to develop an appreciation for good music.
    At least I grew up in the era of the 1960's when rock was good.

    I find I appreciate most music. Rap was hard for me until I had kids and they got me into some of it(not the misogynistic, abusive stuff-which most of it is). I'm good with anything from gregorian chants to rap....tho techno does give me a headache, literally. lolz

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    1. My folks had the Montavani, Mancini and Percy Faith also. I guess for the time they had a pretty substantial album collection. And you are correct about 60's rock! (Or so I heard, no way I could possibly know from personal experience or anything like that.) I can take a song of 2 of techno but then I have had enough.

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  5. I like music but rarely listen to it, there is enough noise in this house and I dont love music enough to add to the chaos.
    If your family was weird, mine was weirder. We always had to wait for dad to put a record on before dinner, all sitting there staring at our food while he chose the soundtrack for the meal and then he would randomly ask us what instrument we could hear playing

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    1. Hahaha! I would say we were about equally weird!

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  7. I'm gonna have to see if I can figure out how to download this. The i-tunes era has passed me by as we still don't have any smart devices. I think my husband would love this. He grew up going to the symphony with his mother. It was a special thing for just him that the other kids didn't do. As a result, he has a real appreciation for classical music.

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    1. It is a perfectly beautiful album. I downloaded it to my computer, but I have a Mac. Not sure if it is available on windows. I found it on Amazon in CD format for $21.99 and then I found this link that might possibly work but I am not sure http://www.last.fm/music/London+Philharmonic+Orchestra/The+50+Greatest+Pieces+of+Classical+Music

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  8. Oh my goodness, I think we are twins. I grew up in a working class home in Birmingham (UK) and from somewhere or other developed a love of classical music, which led me to want to learn to play the piano. Frederic March as Chopin just blew my mind. My ex would say I had no taste (guess that's why I married him then) but I had such an eclectic taste in music that didn't seem to come from my family. I think apart from salsa music (which makes my whole soul move) I still am drawn to the classical. Listening to Andrea Boccelli sing (sorry - can't be bothered to look up the spelling) is heaven. It just moves me so incredibly. Pavarotti of course. In fact at my sister-in-law's funeral a couple of weeks ago my brother had chosen Oh mio babbino caro (again spelling?) and that set me off crying as it is just so beautiful. But then there is so much other music that just seeps into your blood isn't there. I didn't have it ingrained as a child, and my kids thought "my" music was "screamy ladies" but I hope someday to be able to acquaint my (future) grandchildren with it also. A love of music (like a love of books) is better than any inheritance as far as I am concerned.

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  9. I agree totally. My sons grew up with a musically twisted mother and now they have a very mixed music palette. When my youngest son was about 12 we were in the process of getting my MIL's estate settled and had to be out of town. Because of his age he had to be with us and consequently missed some events his peers were enjoying. He was in the car with me as I was running errands there and I apologized to him for making him miss a fun time with is buddies. His response was "That's OK, they aren't getting to listen to French jazz" I

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  10. I love the idea of listening to classical music at or after dinner. Since it is so often just the two of us for dinner, we don't always eat at the table. But it would be nice to have something to unite our evening. Also, I'm not huge on television but love listening to books and music when I remember!

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  11. We listen to music at dinner a lot, even if it is just the 2 of us. I do admit most of the time we listen to jazz while we eat.

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