Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sometimes Music Hits The Ear Just Right

Fall is a time I generally trend toward classical music. I have no idea why and in general I really do not care all that much. I still remember the first time I heard Edward Elgar's music I was sitting at my desk working a dull cost accountant job for Godiva Chocolatier. It was early fall and was the same time period ironically I was also introduced to the Tragically Hip, The Cowboy Junkies and 10000 Maniacs. It was a time when my musical curiosity was exploding but I kept taking sojourns into classical music. To be honest, I may have initially listened to it because I could listen to it at my desk and not offend too many people. Ironically I remember a few years later an obnoxious co worker being offended by Mozart's variation on a theme. Accountants are not all that cultured.

Anyway back to Elgar.

Completed in 1919, the Cello Concerto was Edward Elgar's last major work for orchestra, and his most confessional. In spite of fleeting moments of idyllic release, it's dominated by disillusionment, by a sense of suffering that at times cries out against life, yet more often speaks in quiet anguish. Elgar had been ill, and he was deeply depressed by the Great War's destruction of the world he had known. All of this he poured into a concerto for the cello — not such an unlikely instrument, considering its rich-toned yet brooding personality and its searing, dark timbre.

As Peter Shickley often suggests, if it sounds good, It is good. In this case Elgar's piece always means autumn to me. Its a simple expression of the human soul and for me coming to terms with the darkness and rich beauty that comes with autumn. It also hints at hope as I envision a simple yellow leave fall to the ground only to fertilize the ground for next spring. Give it a listen here if so compelled. It sounds good Mr. Schickley.

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