Friday, June 24, 2016

Brahmsian Coda

The skies were stormy and the air was leaden, but the legs needed to be moving and the W&OD was right there. So on the way home from work yesterday I slipped off my jacket and necklace, laced up my running shoes and took to the trail.

The music was beside the point when I started. I knew that movement alone would work its magic. So I let my little iPod do its own thing. And what it did was play Brahms.

He's my man, of course, but I don't turn to him like I used to. He is a bit, well, heavy. And you have to be in the mood for him. But I was, and he delivered.

It was the last movement of the First Symphony, which my high school youth orchestra played the year I joined. Brahms is not easy, especially when you've only just taken up the string bass. My stand partner wrote "a la fakando" beside the notes of one especially difficult run. Let's just say I did little for that piece but provide a low hum.

But being part of an orchestra that could play such music was enough to explode my adolescent brain. And now, when I listen to Brahms, those early memories of music-making create a powerful listening experience. I was lucky that the final moments of listening happened in the car, after the walk was over. There I could air conduct to my heart's content.

It was a very good walk, with a perfectly Brahmsian coda.


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