Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Radio daze

Yesterday it happened again. The radio! I just do not understand it!

Part 1: In the middle of the afternoon, on the expressway, they're playing Mozart's "Jupiter" Symphony. Come on, in the middle of the day, when we're all running around?

Do you have to??

Part 2: A little later on, I'm in the car again, and this is a long story but I had for a moment melancholy thoughts on my mind. I was tuned into Catholic radio for a minute and a woman was talking about the death of someone she had loved. And I began thinking of people I lost whom I had loved, the way you do when you hear something like that.

And after a few minutes I tuned back to the classical station. They were playing that devastating Schubert impromptu in A flat.

That is a simple piece and not too difficult and anyone who plays the piano plays it. Still. I remember playing that in high school when one of the nuns, her mother had died. The funeral was at our school, Sacred Heart, and someone got me to play this impromptu which, I was no great shakes as a pianist back then. (I like to think I am better now.) But this Schubert! All you have to do is get the notes right and he does the rest for you. And by the time I was through with it everyone in the auditorium was crying. Four hundred girls, crying. I will never forget that.

Because you hear that Schubert and you cannot help it!

These girls, most of whom didn't know beans about classical music, they heard this Schubert and they got it. They understood.

I was listening to this Schubert and remembering that. And I was thinking of all the sorrow in the world, how Schubert kind of absorbed it all, and then how he went before us into death, lighting the way for us, with this otherworldly music. Here I am on Sheridan Drive amongst boom cars and traffic, on this hot afternoon, with my head full of these thoughts and my heart full of the blues.

Then the piece ends. And the announcer gets on.

He chirps: "That was a delightful little Schubert impromptu!"

I wanted to kill him.

I wanted to say, did you, ahem, listen to the piece?

Do you know what it is at all?


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