For a long time I have thought ‘I should explore classical music’. But it’s never seemed readily accessible, or all that inviting most of the time. Nonetheless, this desire to have a musical frame of reference for all the big names – Bach, Mozart, Verdi, Vivaldi, Puccini – persists (these are names that just come to mind, and I have no idea why). Having opened myself up to experiencing whatever National Public Radio has to offer when I’m behind the wheel, and whatever they serve up in their email newsletters, I now think it’s all not so out of reach. This morning the NPR Music Notes email in my inbox featured several articles – about Buddy Holly (duh), Andrew Bird (modern day fodder), Helene Grimaud (some pianist), and A. R. Rahman, composer behind Slumdog Millionaire (I really need to see that film). But what caught my eye? A feature about Felix Mendelssohn’s “Scottish Sound”. ( Listen here: Mendelssohn Symphony Number 3 \’Scottish\’ Finale)
It’s probably due to the fact that I’m desperate to be there, and think my situation warrants a dramatic overblown soundtrack (well it does). But upon listening, the description in the feature about this music becomes more than apparent. This portion of music depicts preparation for battle; (masses of clans marching across the highlands, as Libbey puts it in his article). And lately, I feel like I’ve been preparing for a battle, if not already entrenched in one.