A Musical Misanthrope Christmas Carol Part 3 – Rebirth
We live in a black and white world. People are right or wrong. There is no compromise. Hostility has replaced compassion. Anger has replaced joy.
There is a reason. New technology has forced us to communicate and absorb information differently.
People profit off naiveté, which has created this environment. But as the fads fade and we collectively catch up to it, there will always be one constant. Time tested, ageless and inspiring classical music.
I recently saw a clip from the Stephen Colbert show where they brought the guest in to music I had not heard on a late night show – ever. It took me a minute to comprehend what I was hearing, but I soon realized the band was playing their arrangement of the Beethoven 7th Symphony second movement.
It was completely out of context. The person coming out was a comedienne, but the band played that movement in a way that still retained the notes without feeling like a funeral march. It took me completely off guard and a rush of feeling shot though my head.
It was like one of those stories you hear when a person is near death and their life flashes before their eyes. Suddenly, I remembered that magic I felt when discovering a new piece, or a new interpretation of a piece.
What are the odds that a casual and mindless YouTube search would yield such a response?
Was Charles guiding me? I was reminded that the method by which you discover great music is less important than following rules. Millions of people were exposed to that second movement without knowing it, in an unconventional way.
That is the key to adding color to this black and white world we live in. Beethoven is time tested in expanding minds and inspiring people to do great things.
Yes, I am a misanthrope. And yes, this is uncharacteristically romantic for me. However, music is the answer. And it needs to be shared and performed in ways that will touch people differently than it did me 30 years ago, and those 30 years before that.
But in the meantime, if you have lost your way go back to this music. It never left and it will be
everlasting. When you feel like giving up, listen to Bach, Beethoven or Brahms. When you feel anger, listen to Rachmaninoff, Chopin or Ravel.
As bleak as the world may seem on your computer or phone screen, close your eyes and listen. With curiosity. With purpose. And give color back to our black and white world.
Happy Holidays and don’t be a douche. Listen to more music.