One of my favorite things to do is zoom down the highway late at night, driving exactly six miles over the speed limit, and blast the best, most epic classical music of all time. I crank the volume, pump up the bass and sing along as best as I can.
The epics I blast include
- Mozart’s Requiem
- Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto
- Schubert’s Death and the Maiden
- Shostakovich Symphony No. 5
- Beethoven Symphony No. 7 (or 5, 4, 9 etc)
- Glass’ Koyaanisqatsi
- Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony
- Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring
- Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet
- Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique
- Mussorgsky’s Pictures at and Exhibition, and the
- Bach B minor Mass.
This list could go on and on and on.
I feel like it is in these moments, when I’m driving too fast and signing too hard, that I am expressing unbridled love for amazing works of art.
Belting by myself in the car feels quite different than the reflective, still silence we expect at classical music concerts. In some ways I feel that my appreciation of these wonderful pieces comes not from the refrained live concerts but from my frenetic, guttural reaction to them as I blast them on the highway. I am able to appreciate them in concert because I’ve allowed myself to respond to them naturally in the car. I let my excitement flow by singing, shouting, exclaiming, and anticipating.
My good friends have seen (tolerated) me doing this on many a car rides, and they know exactly how excited I am by pieces that are in some cases hundreds of years old. But if those friends had been sitting next to me at a classical music concert, they might not know just how wild I am about Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Schubert, et. al.
So, of course, one of my favorite things I did at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp this summer was teach the music appreciation minor. I had the privilege of sharing my unbridled excitement for works that some students had never even heard before. [Read more…]