Beethoven and The Grand Canyon

image by raindog

I wasn’t sure how much my father likes classical music, so I was a little surprised when he enthusiastically accepted my invitation to attend Ode to Joy this past weekend. He admitted that he wasn’t sure how much he would like it himself, but he seemed eager to find out.

During the symphony I spied him with his eyes closed during parts of the slower movements, and even during a few of the allegro sections. “Oh, no.” I thought. “He’s bored.”

When the music ended and the applause started, he turned to me and said, “Is it over already? I was really getting into it!” It turns out that behind his closed eyes my father was immersed in a joyous world, imagining everything from horseback riding and sword fighting during the quick tempos, to a lush land of relaxation during the slower movements.

He told me that if he comes across a symphony on television he passes right by. “This music is like the Grand Canyon,” he said. “You have to be there in person to truly appreciate it. Nothing else truly does it justice.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

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