Friday, August 21, 2009

The Excitement of Music!!!!!

I couldn't live without music! That's it. I simply don't think I'd survive for very long if I couldn't hear those familiar melodies I've learned to love--and sometimes hate. (We're talking ear worms here.) I've even been known to utter the statement, "If I had to lose one of my senses, eyesight or hearing, I'd select eyesight hands down." I feel I've seen a lot of things and will carry the visual of it all forever. But music is a constantly renewing sense of joy and exhilaration that simply doesn't lend itself easily to memory. There's something in the "nowness" of it that I love.

Yesterday I heard the 4th movement of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. There aren't words to
describe the magnificence of that piece. I'm usually hearing it in the car and turn up the volume almost all the way so I can recreate the experience of actually being in the orchestra amidst all the instruments. What a rush!!! And it's just unbelievable that the composer, himself, never heard a performance of this work. It is one of my biggest hopes that he will hear it in heaven.

Okay, so that was Beethoven. Today I heard Liza singing "Cabaret". Wow! She feels that song down to the center of her soul. I love her and truly feel that if I met her I actually would love her. She's not had an easy time in life. One thing I admire most about her is that she was brave enough to follow in her mother's wake and make it. And make it big!

If you know of Nancy LaMott, you are very lucky. If you don't, look her up and get her CD's. She sings every single song as though her life depended on it. My husband and I always say that once Nancy sings a song, there's simply nothing else to be done with it. It's fully complete and utterly satisfying. The very first time I heard one of her CD's, "Listen To My Heart", I was drained and reduced to tears by the end. Besides the beautiful music, I had in the back of my mind the knowledge that this was the last CD she would ever make. She died right before it's release. This knowledge made the final song on the album, "I'll Be Here With You" even more poignant.

Later, and I don't even remember how or where, I discovered Michael Feinstein. I listen to Jonathan Schwartz's show and he probably mentioned him a lot. Michael has become my new best friend. He never fails me. No matter what "state" I'm in, Michael smooths me out. I love him and the way he sings a song. Oh, and I'm pretty sure he and Nancy were good friends. It figures.

The featured album here is "Only One Life" and it includes only songs by Jimmy Webb. This albums is mesmerizing and gets moreso with each listening. Try it, you'll like (love) it. Also very good is his Broadway/Movies album which has Michael singing "The Way You Look Tonight" that I feel with every fiber of my being each time I hear it. It's almost as though I can taste it. Crossover senses?

I grew up loving Tony Bennett. My mom loved him and we listened to him more often than I'd like to admit. I still love him. What a performer. I think my favorite of his (and this is really saying something when you consider his repertoire) is "The Shadow of Your Smile". But only the version that includes the introduction. So lovely, you can imagine yourself walking along the beach with the sandpipers.

Music, music, music! I could write forever. I love so many different kinds. To name a few of my favorites I haven't yet mentioned, with apologies to those I forget: Patsy Cline, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Vladimir Horowitz, Claudio Arrau, Itzhak Perlmann, The Moody Blues, The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, The Beatles, Mac Davis, Dan Fogelberg, Adam Lambert, Bobby Darin.

And, good grief, I haven't even mentioned Broadway! As I was growing up, I had only a few LP's. "The Music Man", "South Pacific", and a Bobby Vinton album. I played them so much I'm surprised there were still grooves.

But enough. You get the point. I love music!!!

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