Courage at Twilight: Immersed in Music

Music is always playing at Mom’s house.  As a boy, I awoke on Sunday mornings to the sounds of Bach and Brahms and Beethoven filling the house.  I associated music with Mom, and with home.  On my 15th Christmas, she introduced me to Aaron Copland, whose music was the first to stir my soul in otherworldly ways.  I learned to change out dull needles and set the stylus on the vinyl track I wanted to hear.  Now, instead of one side of an LP, she places five CDs in the player, and pushes play for five concert hours.  I hear the bossa nova of António Carlos Jobim, Von Williams’ Fantasy on Greensleeves, the symphonies of Mahler and Janáček, Copland’s quintessentially American ballet scores, Bartok’s concerto for orchestra, Barber’s concerto for violin, the virtuosic guitar suites of Villa-Lobos, Arty Shaw’s swinging clarinet, Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66. . . .  I love them all.  Her collection has inspired my musical loves, and I have lately expanded her eclecticism with Ceumar, Tó Brandileone, and Cainã Cavalcante, brilliant contemporary Brazilian artists.  Music has some mysterious power to move us and to fill the corners of the spirit reason alone cannot seem to reach.

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