Friday, 6 August 2010

The Score

Having read 'The Plot' by Madeleine Bunting this week, I have been struck powerfully by the memories evoked by music. There are some pieces of music that evoke good memories and some not so good. It has nothing to do with the merits or otherwise of the piece of music but association with people, events and circumstance. On our way back from a walk Sheryl and I were listening to Mahler's 5th Symphony - Mahler has been all the rage at the proms this year and to be honest I haven't found his music the most enjoyable. However I have been attracted by it's variety and 'interest' if not it's 'tunability' - though it does have a bit of that. Listening to the Adagietto - a beautiful piece of music - took me back some years ago to a very difficult time in our lives. Maybe my antipathy to Mahler is more rooted in personal memory rather than the music's intrinsic value. There are pieces of music that I will listen to that evoke good moments - Schumann's Rhenish Symphony for instance - though only because it was on the radio at a moment when I knew things were on the up. I can't say Schumann tops my charts every day!
Music can lift the spirits but to be honest if some music gets associated with certain events - personal or otherwise - it's going to be a tough call for that tune! I haven't of course mentioned Wagner...

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