Music is something I never studied. I wish I had. But I never did and thus I must flounder as an illiterate in a world full of readers.
Perhaps one day I'll be able to study it properly and thus will be able to truly appreciate what I hear.
In the meantime I listen. I find that it's the music that tells stories that attracts me most. Music that speaks with no words to something inside me, that paints a picture of the people in that story, telling me what they felt and thought and did.
One such piece is Concierto de Aranjuez by Joaquin Rodrigo, written in 1939. When asked what inspired it Rodrigo would shrug and say it was about general thoughts and feelings and the wind in the trees at the palace of Aranjuez where he spent his honeymoon.
But others disagree. Rodrigo and his wife Victoria were expecting their first child as he was writing it. The concierto was only half written when Victoria fell ill and lost the child. She also was expected to die. People say that Rodrigo locked himself away and when he came out, he'd written the second movement.
Victoria survived, thankfully, but when I listen to this concierto I can hear Rodrigo's love and longing and despair. His grief for both his wife and his child. I can hear him arguing with God, asking why why WHY? And I can hear God talking back, gently, tenderly, trying to give solace. Listening to the whole piece I hear the whole conversation. The guitar and the orchestra are talking to each other, back and forth, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in rage, always in love.
I urge you to listen to all of it but for now I leave you with the second movement, the most beloved part of the concierto.
Do any of you know a particular piece of music that tells you a story? That speaks unspeakable words to you? Please do share. Tell me a story.