From childhood through maturity, I somehow missed an appreciation for classical music. I grew up against a rock ‘n roll landscape, danced my way through the disco era and believed pop songs defined love. I have no ear for country music except when it crosses over to mainstream. Rap is fun to listen to, and I do enjoy live jazz though it’s not typically my first choice. I thought of classical as slow, boring and even depressing; conjuring up images of aged elitists. So it is surprising that my son chose this as his musical direction; marching band to rock band to symphony orchestra.
Over the years, as a proud mom, I attended the music conservatory concerts, craning my neck to see him past the many musicians on stage, frustrated that photos were not permitted during the performance, and irritated when the conductor blocked my view. Then my son joined an orchestra, and as I sat listening and watching these professionals perform, a strange thing happened. I became aware that I was enraptured, not just because of my favorite percussionist but because I finally started to assimilate the wonder of classical music. The pieces vary; melodic and soothing, forceful and energetic, dark and mysterious, ebullient and fantastical. Beyond masterpieces by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, I discovered Gruber’s Frankenstein and am looking forward to Herrmann’s Psycho Suite.
It’s breathtaking to watch the incredible talent as fingers glide across the piano, one hand crossing over the other as the pace accelerates faster and faster. I am enthralled by the passion and fervor of the vocalists, and the timing of the different instrumental sections as they conjoin. I am in awe of the discipline, sacrifice and determination that brought these young performing artists to the stage.
Seeing things go full circle always makes me pensive and somewhat amused. I think about how we raise kids until they mature, and how we mature because of who we raised.