Saturday, November 15, 2008

"Will you marry me?"

We were at table, eating breakfast ("magic" eggs and sweet Italian sausage), when the radio began playing some sweet and pure and joyful music. I sighed. "There is no composer, before or since, like Beethoven" — it was his second symphony. Not his best one, but much better than most of the rest of the world could ever produce.

Don't get me wrong: other composers — Chopin, Schubert, Mahler, Brahms, Vivaldi, Handel ... ugh, Mozart — are unexcelled in their own ways, but you know what you're getting with them. Beethoven has something in his music that is ineffable and impossible to demystify. Beethoven's music, whether heard for the first time or the fiftieth, is always surprising. Beethoven's catalogue of music, too, spans from the Classical to the Romantic to Polyphonic chant (his last quartet in A-flat minor is eternal, and listening to it never fails to make swallowing past the lump in my throat impossible), and he is not "stuck" in a genre as the other greats were.

Okay, Bach, also, wins here.

I mentioned this to my cara spoza highlighting that even Mahler's music, in the worshipful imitation of Beethoven's, still could not ascend the heavens as did his. She mentioned that she was not familiar with his music.

Hmphf! The very first thing I ever did was to invite my beloved to was Mahler's second symphony. She flat-out refused! ... I suppose it would have been helpful if I gave her more than a few hours notice before the concert. But still.

I encouraged her to do so (learn Mahler) and told her this story.

Once upon a time, Mahler proposed to his wife, Alma (née Schindler), by composing his Fifth symphony — his exquisite Fifth Symphony. She was also a composer of note. Her response: "I didn't know you were writing a percussive symphony." Mahler listened to her. He crossed out the entire percussive section and rewrote it, toned down by half. She accepted his proposal, and now we have one of the most beautiful pieces of music in the world because of her. The End.

My sweet and dainty cara spoza tilted her head, reflecting on all that she had heard and said: "How can people not read and miss out on such wonderful moments?"

Me: "Well, I guess people are comfortable in their ign..."
She: "It. Was. A. Rhetorical. Question!"
Me, nonplussed [God! She is so beautiful with her stormy eyes]: "You should know by now that I have ready answers for questions, whether asked or unasked..."

She growled at me and stomped out of the room.

*Sigh* I just love her!

Now, my proposal to her was quite different than Mahler's to Alma; it started "simply enough" with an "I love you." But that is a story for another time.

P.S. Mama, you'll note from the lyrics it really, really, really is "Everyone know that it's Windy". Q.E.D.

1 comment:

Eve said...

I knew all along it's WINDY !!!

But I have to admit it's because I thought it's windy. I never learn the lyrics of that song, I was just familiar with the tune and the last line "it's windy..."

So whenever a gust of wind comes and rustles the leaves of the trees, I always hum the tune of the song and end it with the last line... it's WINDY !!!

We are both right. How could anyone not know that?