Following last weekend’s performances, a two-day break allowed time for me to enjoy Door County with my family.
Along with three hundred other runners, we enjoyed the beautiful course at the Crossroads at Big Creek trail run. On Sunday, we were in Milwaukee to send our son Anthony off to a music camp in Ohio. We also hiked in my favorite state park, Whitefish Dunes.
Tuesday, we began rehearsals for this week’s concerts. For some reason… I am beginning to think of each piece as a child of its composer. It’s true that the works of a composer share similarities, just as human siblings do. These traits, like DNA, identify who they belong to. And like human family members, they can be amazingly unique at the same time.
The Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, a child of Johannes Brahms, has inspired awe and amazement among music lovers for generations. In this piece, Brahms tunes into our deepest hopes and fears–emotions too complex to be expressed with words–and through achingly beautiful lyrical melodies and chilling harmonies, he expresses them in music, thus providing a tangible record of humanity’s soul. This is an unforgettable masterpiece. It’s one of those pieces that gifts us with a sense of eternity and mystery.
What if it had never been born?
What if Abraham Lincoln had never been born?
What if our parents hadn’t met?
How could anything be the same?