Day 13: Changes

HaydnCD13I decided to shake things up this morning.

Instead of dining at the Panera farther away from where I live, I chose the Panera closer to me.

And instead of a booth, today I occupy that same square table I used to race to possess every day at 6:00am when I listened to the complete works of Mozart a couple of years ago.

Ooh. Big changes afoot.

Panera3I dunno. May not seem like much to you. But if I was a cat I’d freak out at such major alterations to my schedule.

I listened to the following three symphonies (twice!) on CD 13 this morning:

Symphony No. 46 in B, which Haydn composed in 1772 during his Sturm und Drang period. He was 40 years old.

This symphony was gripping from the start. I Continue reading

Day 7: Lamentatione, But No Light Roast

Haydn007If there’s one thing I can always count on at this particular Panera Bread it’s this: The coffee I want will be out. Doesn’t matter what time of day I arrive. Or how many other people are here, or have been before me. The Light Roast urn will be dry. Taste it and you’ll discover why. It really is that good.

So here I am, at 6:25 am, waiting for Light Roast. No other coffee on the planet will do.

In the meantime, I have Franz Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 25 in C to keep me company.

According to its entry on Wiki, this composition is “[r]are among Haydn’s symphonies” because it “lacks a slow movement.”

I’m not sure if the folks on Wiki are hearing the same symphony as I am. The first movement is painfully slow, very much the adagio it claims to be — until about 3 minutes in. Then it bursts into a much-welcome allegro molto. Perhaps the chap who wrote that wasn’t waiting for a steaming mug of Light Roast coffee.

But, suddenly, I don’t care if I have a steaming mug of Light Roast in front of me or not. (Thank you, Franz Joseph.)

That’s not to say that I think Symphony No. 25 is the greatest thing since Symphony No. 24. On the contrary, Light Roast or not, I’m not warming up to this symphony. I’m not hearing the hooks.

Symphony No. 26 in D minor (“Lamentatione”), on the other hand, is fascinating. Its first movement, a kick-ass “allegro assai con spirito” (allegro = “fast, quickly and bright” assai = “very much, quite fast” con spirito = “with spirit”) boasts very clear and clever melodic lines that sound as contemporary as Continue reading