I had the lovely opportunity to go to the opera this month. My uncle took me there for my birthday, and it was so wonderful! Classical music and period pieces have always been my heartbeat. My family wonders where I get this love from, because most of them do not share the same interest. My grandmother prefers Southern classics like Gone With the Wind and Eugenia Price. But my English major passions always carry me back to Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, and George Elliot. And for a more modern take on this, listen to the soundtrack of the film Little Women–it is simply breathtaking.
Growing up I played the piano and violin, and I always begged my teachers for more classical pieces. They were stunned by this request, because most musicians do not care for the melodies of classical repertoires; however, if you can play classical music, you can play anything. The measures in these songs stretch your musical abilities in ways other music cannot. If you want to learn to play Christmas carols, country music, or the latest pop song, playing classical music will you give you every musical tool you need to do so–right down to the last quarter note.
So there was my defense of classical music–it really is lovely! I could sit and listen to these wondrous songs for hours. As a teenager, I remember playing selections from the films Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility for my piano recitals. Through the years, I also purchased the soundtracks to Secret Garden, Black Beauty, and Downton Abbey. I just cannot get enough of the music from these time periods. I even started listening to Beethoven and Tchaikovsky in the 6th grade. And the Nutcracker is my all time favorite ballet. Hopefully, some of you share my same passions regarding classical music and the opera.
As I sat listening to each soprano note being hit beautifully at the opera, I was mesmerized by how someone could hit such notes. How I wish I could sing along with them. Such talent! I would love to be able to sing like that! How amazing that the Lord gave men and women the talent to pursue such an endeavor. It is simply brilliant. This type of art is timeless and it continues to touch each generation. How incredible to realize the fact that we still enjoy the works of William Shakespeare, Johann Strauss, or Gilbert and Sullivan after so many years since their original publication.
Hearing these incredible compositions–we never seem to tire from listening to them. Why do you think that is? Is it because pieces like these are not written with such eloquence today? Or are we just enchanted by the classical language? Could it also be a longing to discover the inner workings of the past as we try to understand the people who lived then? Whatever the reason, the opera still moves us even in the 21st century, and I am so thankful to be a recipient of its art. This type of art is what inspired me to become an English major and a writer. So please take a moment to pull up some of these works online today. Hopefully you will fall in love with the classics as much as I have. Happy listening!