This morning I dusted off the boxed set of Baroque music CD’s that my musical sister gave me many years ago. I needed to be refreshed – to get out of the repeating soundtrack of my life. Actually, last night I was thinking about making a list of my favorite songs of all time, and the earliest ones that came to mind were from the 1980’s. Then I thought, why not go earlier? Surely some songs from the 60’s deserve to make the list! But then I thought, why not go even earlier? What about Classical music? And so here I am, reconnecting with Classical music.
I’ve always loved the layering of melody and tempo in Baroque music especially. Who doesn’t know the Pachelbel Canon or Handel’s Water Music or Vivaldi’s Four Seasons? The Pachelbel Canon carries the listener along like a leaf in a mountain stream that trips and plays along, until it finally reaches a pristine mountain lake. If Pachelbel is water, then Vivaldi is air – just as playful, but soaring through the treetops instead of dancing on the water. Handel, I think, is more like a row of large trees – impressive but orderly and purposeful. Sadly, my favorite Baroque piece is not included these CDs – Bach’s Sleepers Awake. It’s a simple “song” that I fell in love with when we sang the choral version in high school.
Isn’t that great? I actually do feel smarter, more peaceful and even more motivated when I listen to Classical music. The pieces are complex and beautiful and written with passion and genius. Not to mention the talent it takes to perform them. If these notes can enter my brain and leave behind just a bit of that, then I’m the better for it.