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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Cried Early and Often

The concert in Atlanta on Sunday was beyond my most enthusiastic expectations. On the drive up, Loren, who possesses great musical knowledge though he doesn’t play an instrument himself, gave me a crash course in the structure of a classical symphony. He explained the four movements and how they are connected, so I went into the concert hall armed with new knowledge of how to appreciate classical music.

First, though, we had lunch at the restaurant at Woodruff Hall, were the Atlanta Symphony performs. Loren, ever the carnivore, had some sort of exotic burger covered in bacon and cheese. I enjoyed a wild mushroom quiche, and we split a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. The champagne was divine and set the tone for the entire afternoon.

When Itzak Perlman took the stage, my heart swelled in my chest, and when he began Mozart’s Adagio in E Major, making his violin speak to my very heart, the tears came. No, no sobbing. I didn’t embarrass myself, and I was armed with tissues. He followed with the Rondo in C Major and I continued to weep silently as the music rolled over me, filling my soul.

Music is medicine for the soul, I think, especially classical music that has been touching hearts for centuries. Part of Perlman’s genius is in his ability to make one feel as though he is playing only to you, that you are the center of his energy.

It’s fortunate that I don’t wear much makeup, because the Symphony No. 25 in G minor (The Little G), brought more tears. (Do I really need that Restasis)? Perlman was conducting, and it was clear that every member of the orchestra was giving him his or her very best. He drew them together, and the result was magic. The symphony is not very long, but it is strong on emotion, and he brought it all to each of us. Amazing.

Intermission. A chance to breath and collect myself, ready myself for Perlman to conduct Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 - the Symphony for the New World, Clint’s favorite. I didn’t hold out much hope for keeping myself together.

But when the music once more began, I was surprised that my tears were fewer. Having heard the recorded version for so many years when Clint played it, it made me miss him, of course, but I came to understand why he loved it as he did. It is he - big and strong on the outside and warm and quirky in the middle. My husband was a symphony!

Tears sting behind my lids as I write this. I miss him so. But I smile to think how happy he would be to know that I had the thrill and privilege to hear his favorite work conducted by Itzak Perlman. I know he is smiling.

© cj Schlottman


KeLLy aNN said...

Big hugs and a smack on the bottom~
Good for You.

Sue said...

I knew it would be good for you.

I'm glad it was.


Katie Gates said...

This is beautiful.

jeff campbell said...

CJ...such a fine story...sooo heartfelt...memories...can't stand em, can't live without them ...Peace