Thursday, March 18, 2010

Music and Me

Last night, quite by accident (although I don't believe in such things as accidents!) I watched an absolute musical treat in the form of Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra.

I don't watch a great deal of television even less the PBS stations but my husband had been watching

WPBT2 - South Florida Public Television    

and had disappeared!  He tends to do that!!  You know the type - turns on everything that makes a noise and then leaves the room.  The exercise is then repeated in whichever room he goes to.  

So there I was, about to get down to some backlog paperwork when my daughter told me that there was going to be a concert from Dublin.  Thinking it was to do with St Patrick's Day, I showed an interest.  It turned out that the only thing to do with Ireland was that the concert had been recorded in Dublin. I don't know when and I didn't care.  It was an absolute treat to watch and once again I was reminded of how much I miss and am starved of, events such as this. Yes there is theatre, music and a great deal of talent in the Caribbean but my roots are in Europe and every now and again I yearn for a show, a concert, an opera or an operetta.

My father's love of music came from the Irish side of the family and when he found himself in Italy post WW11 on his way to Austria, his love affair with opera began.  When he met my Austrian mother (who couldn't hold a note much to the amusement of the rest of the family!), he embraced the wonderful music that was on offer from long dead and not-so-dead European composers.

I was weaned on Lehar, Puccini, Verdi and Rossini; Viennese waltzes and Oscar and Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin. The music was always there and the latest 'records' were forever on the turn table. Great big old 78s. Later there was Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers from whom I heard once again the Irish rebel songs. And as I grew, hearing the likes of Rosemary Clooney, Jo Stafford, Sinatra, Crosby, Martin, Sammy Davis Jnr. to name but a few of the greats, my taste broadened so that eventually Presley made Bill Haley and the Comets look positively tame! Even later my father would come to love the Sandpipers, Demis Roussos, Shirley Bassey and would you believe, Tom Jones?? Oh yes, "Delilah" was a favourite of his too but I drew the line at 'Tie A Yellow Ribbon'.

So last night when I heard Thunder and Lightening Polka, The Merry Widow, Song of the Volga, Gypsy Love, The Blue Danube Waltz,  Song of Olympia, Radetzky March, the Slaves Chorus, The Marino Waltz and an Opera Pot Pourri I was taken back to another time. A time of enchantment. A time of wonder. A time of discovery. A time when I felt safe. A time when my father and I would sing duets from musicals such as Kismet. A time when I would sit through Hollywood musicals totally enthralled by the magic that took me into another world.

Last night Andre Rieu took me back to that world.  The tears flowed as I watched. listened, hummed and sang. The tears of nostalgia flowed as I remembered a time when music and love filled a home and through my tears, I silently gave thanks to my long deceased father for introducing me to music which has brought me so much pleasure through the years.

What would life be without music? "Music goes straight to the heart" said Andre Rieu last night.  I know it's in mine.





  1. Music can touch our souls. I don't listen as much as I used to. I was once like your husband as far as having to have background noise. I have now gotten so used to delightful silence or just the sounds of birds outside that when driving back from Raton and my ex-husband riding with me had to turn on the radio I would have loved to have shoved him out the door.

    Somehow radio static and driving on icy roads is not good.

    I love Andre and have several of his CD's

  2. Tears of nostalgia. how lovely.

    I am so silly as I was thinking your other blog was this one and thinking I didn't realise it had been so long since you wrote on your blog. LOL.

  3. I could not live without music in my life and I am either making it or listening to it.

  4. I couldn't live without music at all. What a dull world it would be.


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