Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Funny how the raindrops don't make a sound...

OK, I should apologize to my friend and favorite singer Robinella for paraphrasing her original tune "Teardrops" in my title. But it always comes to mind whenever I hear this Chopin prelude.

It's 2 a.m. and, as usual, I can't wind down. Have this problem every night anymore. I hate to take sleeping pills, or drink one of the cliched sleep-inducing beverages, or smoke a puff or two on my pipe, to try to relax.

I did all of those tonight. Nothing worked.

So, I'm sitting in the chair in my home office, feet up on the ottoman, listening to "Raindrop" -- Chopin's Prelude Op. 28/15 in D Flat Major. It's heartbreaking and sweet, which is why it made me think of that Robinella song I love.

Don't know much about classical music. Well, other than the basics and what any audiophile picks up here and there.

My dear friends Dean and Allison Harned and I have gone to hear the Knoxville Symphony a time or two over the last couple of years. It's been both an education and a grand experience. There is something almost spiritual about live music. (I recommend the KSO's Sunday Chamber concerts.)

The liner notes in this CD say that Chopin predominantly wrote pieces designed for the solo piano. Then it offers a description that gives a hint as to one reason why I have always been attracted to his work.

"Chopin's gift was emotion rather than intellect, instinct rather than analysis."

It reminds me of something former Shopper music critic Amanda Mohney once told me.

"You're a 'Kind of Blue' kind of guy," she said. "I prefer 'Bitches Brew.'"

She was referring to two classic Miles Davis albums. The former is emotional and tugs at your heart; the latter is experimental and appeals to the intellect. Amanda must be quite observant -- either that or I am an open book. Nine times out of 10, my initial response to something is usually with the heart rather than the head.

It doesn't appear that Chopin was afflicted with the artists' disease. Which was good to hear for a change. Apparently he died on the same day as Edgar Allen Poe. Who knew?

I'm beginning to feel a little more mellow, listening to Chopin's falling raindrop, lost in its poetry.

Don'tcha just love good music?

I'm off to sleep. Peace out.

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