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12 September 2006 @ 11:00 pm
Classical Music And Dad  
About a year and a half ago, before his grand year-long bicycle trip across Europe, dad came to visit me here in Colorado. One of the things I did while he was here was pick his brains on classical music, making a long list of pieces and composers to look for (we also went on a shopping expedition for classical CDs).

I'm so very, very glad I did it then, because it's obviously something that I couldn't do now.

Classical was the only kind of music my dad ever listened to for pretty much his whole life. And really, it was a big part of his life. He played viola in the Kansas City Civic orchestra for many years. He also played violoncello (cello to you and me) in another amateur orchestra in Shawnee Mission (the name escapes me right now -- the Civic Orchestra was bigger and much better known), and I think he may have played both in the local Austin amateur orchestra during the few years he lived down there. He also played the piano off and on, and also violin (although just Irish jigs and the like on that). And, of course, he spent a lot of time just listening.

So, when I had a question about classical music (or our family tree, which he spent years working out), he was the person I'd call up and ask. The geneological information still exists, since all of that he recorded -- that classical music knowledge, not so much.

I've always liked classical music -- not as much as other music perhaps, but quite a bit. I grew up with it around the house, since dad often played it, and I grew up going to see dad play in concerts (and not just that, I often went to the practices and read books or did homework or whatever while they practiced, since as he was a single parent most of my life, it was often easiest just to bring me along). But, despite all of that, while a huge number of classical pieces are familiar to me (as they are to a lot of people, from background music for movies and commercials if nothing else), I never really knew who wrote them or what they were a lot of the time. So, when dad was here, I took the time to make a long list of things to go look for, especially as I wanted to start rounding out that part of my music collection about then.

Since then, I've acquired quite a lot of classical music in my music collection (to the tune of about 10GB of MP3s at 192kbps, or 100 CDs or so, although maybe a fifth of that I'd had much longer), so that it's now about half of the total music I own (by storage).

It's possibly the strongest connection I still have with my dad, although perhaps a bittersweet one. I don't think I quite enjoy the music as much as I would have if he were still here to listen along.
 
 
In the mood: melancholymelancholy
Now playing: Sibelius - Finlandia
 
 
 
asakiyume: shaft of lightasakiyume on September 13th, 2006 12:00 pm (UTC)
I want to go back and read your entry properly, but I just had to say... Finlandia is a gorgeous piece of music, and very good if you're feeling melancholy.

There are some moving lyrics that have been set to the tune of Finlandia (hmm, which is to say... the main theme?)--they're used as a hymn--an antidote to patriotism. Go here and scroll down till you get to the Lloyd Stone, international version....