Classical music was never heard in my childhood home until the day Beethoven barged in on a vinyl LP.
As an eighth-grader I delivered newspapers, and had quite a bit of cash at my disposal. (At least, it seemed that way to me.)
One day, on a whim, I bought two vinyl LPs on sale for 99 cents apiece. One of them was Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
As soon as I peeled away the protective cellophane wrapper, I slipped the LP from its sleeve, put it on the turntable, and gently laid the needle at the edge.
Beethoven and I bonded immediately. I spent the rest of the afternoon playing his soul-stirring symphony over and over again, until my mother insisted that I join the rest of the family for supper.
Since that initial encounter years ago, I’ve listened to the Fifth Symphony countless times, but never until today in a live performance.
The Filarmónica de Jalisco, under the direction of guest conductor Enrique Bátiz Campbell, seemed to make the Teatro Degollado tremble with an unseen presence as the symphony Beethoven wrote over 300 years ago filled the great hall.
It was as though the composer himself was walking among us, nodding his shaggy mane in approval.
The instant the last note died, the audience leapt to its feet in acclamation. It would have been no small pleasure for us to have sat through the entire performance again—and again.
my eldest daughter
practicing scales at midnight—
summer’s first new moon
Text © 2016 by Mark M. Redfearn, all rights reserved