THE MUSIC OF MY LIFE

Music transports me as does nothing else.

Chopin will always remind me of all the years I studied piano. He was my favorite composer to perform. Nocturnes, mazurkas, waltzes. All the sound of growing up and living in music because the world was too painful.

Music. All music takes me to other places. It’s why I can’t listen to music and drive. I’ll wind up in a ditch. Every piece of music reminds me of something. Johnny Mathis take me to my tormented adolescence. Any of Beethoven’s symphonies take me somewhere, I’m not sure where, but it’s not here. I like wherever it is.

Old show tunes — West Side Story especially — brings back memories of my middle and late teens when I thought it was the most romantic story ever. Even though it was a musical retelling of Romeo and Juliet, but I thought that was swooningly romantic too.

Gigi took me to Paris. It still does. It’s the Paris I want to visit, but can’t, because it no longer exists. Maybe it never did exist.


The Transporter – Tell us about a sensation — a taste, a smell, a piece of music — that transports you back to childhood.



Categories: Daily Prompt, Music, Personal

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

28 replies

  1. I’ve just spent the better part of a day just listening to the selections. Thanks so much for sharing these, it’s been a lovely day full of music. I’d honestly forgotten how good Chopin is/was. I think it’s been a couple decades since I listened to any.

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  2. Wonderful memories Marilyn! Music is a fantastic transporter.

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  3. My mother learnt the piano and violin – me it was torture to learn the violin after I suffered some hearing loss. I couldn’t hear if I was in tune or not. That said I used to go to orchestral concerts and sell programmes and then see the show for free. As a result I developed a taste for orchestral versions of the modern ( way back then) songs. Still do today.

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  4. My favorite Chopin was this: http://youtu.be/yf4zgfUqPpI (Polonaise Militaire) I learned it while studying with a poor old lady who had terrible arthritis in her hands. She was mean (and no doubt in a lot of pain). My next teacher had been a pianist for the Berlin Conservatory. Then came Hitler. My teacher was a Jew. He was smuggled out through Shanghai, played in New York and retired in Bellevue, Nebraska of all places (it reminded him of home, the way it looked, its proximity to a river). He played this for me and then the mazurka I would be learning. He explained how Chopin had lived in exile and had never been able to return home. That conversation bred in me a deep sympathy for all wandering people who cannot go home again. That led me to make friends with all kinds of people from all over the years. Mr. Baer was — and is — one of my life’s heroes.

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  5. Love the music Marilyn.
    Leslie

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  6. I loved playing Chopin, he was one of those guys I could play. Beethoven was another one, and I still have my book of Mozart sonatas. I was also a Bach fan, although my right and lefthand sometimes wouldn’t follow each other and then I met Mr. Swiss. I wanted to play jazz piano, bought the music and I must say not bad, but I am no competition for Erroll Garner and the rest. Rich, Mr. Swiss pianist in his jazz group, is great. I am fascinatied by his improvisations, but I have to have the music notes. Otherwise you will find me everywhere, mostly with the Italian singers. One thing I do not do is Swiss folk music, but that is a special breed

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    • The closest to jazz I got were Scott Joplin rags. They are written out and don’t require improvisation of which I am incapable. I envy those who can do it, though. Do you still play? My hands have gotten so arthritic, I can’t any more and I miss it.

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      • I have the original notes to the Scott Joplin rags as well. I noticed it needed quite a bit of practice (for me) to play them in the right tempo. Naturally the one from The Sting was the one I wanted to play. Although I have a bit of a problem with the left hand, after breaking the arm twice and having one finger twice as thick as the others and the thumb not doing what it should (beginning arthritis) I still manage to tickle the ivories, but not very often.

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        • “The Entertainer,” the one used as the theme for “The Sting,” is hard. I never mastered it. I found some easier ones and learned them. I have small hands, so things that require big stretches are usually too hard for me. That’s why I was good at Chopin, Bach, Mozart, some Beethoven, but not Liszt or most of the Russian composers. Tiny hands. Odd, because I have big feet 🙂 I was practicing again and then, wow, that pain really hit. There’s a relatively minor surgery I can get that would fix it, but I’m not getting any more surgery unless I have no choice. I’ve had enough already!

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  7. Is it bad that Chopin brings to my mind a line from Tombstone?

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    • That particular nocturne he’s playing? It is the easiest of the nocturnes and almost anyone who is moderately competent pianist can play it. I always find it funny how often it is THE nocturne in the movies, probably because movie stars who took piano lessons can play it. Better Tombstone should remind you of a nocturne than not know any at all 🙂

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  8. We just lost my all time fav Joe Cocker. But his music brings back many moments.

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  9. My husband is learning one of Chopin’s Nocturnes now, it is a pleasure to listen to it. Chopin is also one of my favorite composers. I’m right there with you with West Side Story too- never gets old.

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