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Ode


Is there anything more heart-meltingly, gut-wrenchingly, makes-your-soul-churn-so-violently-it’s-like-you-have-soul-indigestion beautiful than the second movement of the Brahms D minor piano concerto? Sure, there are probably lots of things (or at least a few things, for example the third movement of the Brahms B-flat piano concerto) that rival it, and maybe others will be inclined to disagree (all you Brahms haters can check your hating at the door, thanks), and maybe in the near or distant future I’ll change my tune (take the appropriate amount of time here to snort/scoff/roll your eyes at my pun and get frustrated by the ubiquity of my parenthetical remarks), but for now the Op. 15 Adagio is just getting me all kinds of hot and bothered.

I was practicing the Brahms this morning and then, because I am a masochist, decided to treat myself to my teacher’s recording of it with Szell and Cleveland and I damn near had a psychotic episode where I felt awe/ecstasy/joy/envy/despair/hopelessness/bewilderment/wonder/love/respite all at the same time and all in the span of the three and a half minutes it took for the orchestra and soloist to present the first 26 bars.

The sun is streaming through the trees and speckling the living room furniture with patches of gold, a visual personification of the warmth and intimacy that permeates the music. Like petting a dog. Like drinking hot cocoa. While wrapped in a Snuggie.

The Adagio is my own secret hideaway, my Terabithia, a sanctuary from the world on the other side of these windows, the world that comes flooding back in once the music stops, a world of political sparring, dishonesty, worry, discontent.

Before I wax too maudlin about this exquisite work of the gods (if you thought this was bad, your stomach for all things maudlin could use some strengthening; a few doses of Wuthering Heights should cure you if it doesn’t kill you) I’ll excuse myself now from this ode to Brahms and go make lunch.

Is there anything more saliva-inducing, hearty-but-light, ready-in-minutes-so-you-can-get-on-with-the-music-worship than lemon-garlic-butter-parmesan pasta?

#Brahms #Fleisher #Szell #pasta

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