Day 30: Overheard Conversations

HaydnCD30This morning at Panera, as I refilled my mug of Light Roast coffee, I overhead a group of old guys chatting in a little nook area near the front of the restaurant. One man, who looked to be in his mid to late 60s, had his laptop open and he was talking to guys who looked to be 10+ years older than that.

“Are you referring to Internet Explorer?” the man with the laptop asked. “Because I have Google Chrome and Firefox, too.”

I glanced over and looked at the gaggle of retirees and thought, “Really? Twenty years ago, guys of this age would be jawing about being retired – not about web browsers.”

Life is funny, innit?

Symphony No. 96 in D , “The Miracle Symphony,” was composed in 1791 and is part of the London Symphonies. It is called “The Miracle Symphony” because, according to its entry on Wikipedia,

It is so called due to the story that, during its premiere, a chandelier fell from the ceiling of the concert hall in which it was performed. The audience managed to dodge the chandelier successfully as they had all crowded to the front for the post-performance applause, and the symphony got its nickname. More careful and recent research suggests that this event did indeed take place but during the premiere of his Symphony No. 102.

Haydn was 59, when this symphony was composed and first performed.

Symphony No. 97 in C was composed and first performed in Continue reading

Day 29: Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

HaydnCD29This is the time of year that I dread: late October. It’s when my wife takes down all of the flowers that have graced our balcony since late May, early June.

There’s a quote from Sherlock Holmes, from the story titled “The Naval Treaty,” in which he waxes poetic about flowers.

“What a lovely thing a rose is!”
“There is nothing in which deduction is so necessary as religion,” said he, leaning with his back against the shutters. “It can be built up as an exact science by the reasoner. Our highest assurance of the goodness of Providence seems to me to rest in the flowers. All other things, our powers, our desires, our food, are all really necessary for our existence in the first instance. But this rose is an extra. Its smell and its color are an embellishment of life, not a condition of it. It is only goodness which gives extras, and so I say again that we have much to hope from the flowers.”

Even Sherlock Holmes, as cold and detached as he appears to be in print and film, was swayed, albeit momentarily, by the beauty of flowers.

How could I be any less moved by them?

Balcony1What makes this time of year interesting is that change is no longer a theory. It’s a fact, a palpable one at that. Trees turn color, temperatures drop, the wind kicks up. It’s a great time of year to be inside. Yet, not even there can one escape the chill that seeps inside. Winter is coming.

So, listening to Haydn’s music seems the perfect way to pass this season. Haydn will take me nearly up to Spring, 2014. The films of Woody Allen will carry me over the finish line into my second favorite season (after Fall).

For now, I get to enjoy Haydn, starting with Symphony No. 93.

Symphony No. 93 in D is the first of 12 symphonies dubbed Continue reading