Friday, January 07, 2011

Music that is Ever-Present in the Universe

I've always loved classical music. Even as a child, before I had the opportunity to acquire some basic education in music, I remember being enthralled by the classical pieces played by my neighbours on the piano. I was quite surprised to discover that even elementary students of the piano had the chance to play simple pieces by the great composers such as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven.

One might find it hard to believe today but during those early days of FM radio in Malaysia, they used to have an hour of classical music in the morning (Muzik Klasik) and another hour late at night (Konsert Klasik). That was how I got acquainted with the great masterpieces of classical music. I even managed to record many of those radio programs on cassette tapes. I still keep them back in my hometown! And it was through the radio that I learned how to pronounce the names of the composers correctly--surprisingly our radio announcers then (they were not called DJs yet) bothered to learn the correct pronunciation of their names. ('Bak', 'Mout-sart', 'Bay-thoven').

Later when I had the opportunity to pick some basic piano myself, I appreciated classical music even more. I started my collection of classical music cassettes and later CDs. I even bought music scores so that I could read the notes while listening to these masterpieces.

With my iPod now, I carry my favourite classical music with me all the time. I have the complete piano sonatas of Beethoven and Mozart in my pocket. Lately I've been enjoying the series of lecture recitals by reknowned pianist and conductor Andras Schiff on the 32 piano sonatas of Beethoven. The more I listen to Beethoven, I more layers of beauty that I uncover in its music.

I have nothing against modern music--I do love a lot of the contemporary artistes--but nothing compares to the experience of classical music. It can be enjoyed on so many levels: intellectually, emotionally and even spiritually. If you have played Chopin on the piano, you'll know what a divine feeling that is.

I've always felt that most the greatest pleasures of life do not cost a lot of money. And classical music is certainly one of them. Log on to the Internet and you can download tons of free classical music or listen to any one of those Internet radio stations that specialize in classical music. And if you can read notes, there are also so many sites that offer free sheet music.

Einstein, who played the violin, once remarked about Mozart's music: " pure that it seemed to have been ever-present in the universe, waiting to be discovered by the master".

That sums up what perfectly what I feel about classical music. It's so pure that it is like a part of nature. When one is listening to classical music, one is in communion with Nature and the greatest composers the world has ever produced.

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