Do you have memories that are linked to music?


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Do you have memories that are linked to music?

Maybe it’s the piece that was played at your wedding. In our case, I didn’t walk down the aisle to “Here Comes the Bride”, but instead, to Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”, specifically, “The Great Gate of Kiev”. This piano piece from 1874 seemed appropriate for a grand entrance, speaking of the wooden city gates about to be replaced with stone ones, but alas, which never happened. They were to commemorate the Tsar having escaped an assassination attempt and referred to hope for the future, an auspicious way to begin a marriage, we thought.

Maybe we should have stuck with Pachelbel’s “Canon” or “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and called it a day. But over the top spoke the language of our life, the composer adding his score to our special day.

It was not till many years later that we got around to adding children to our family, and found ourselves in a historic flat in Moscow, preparing to adopt our second son. Found near the luxury Smolensky Passage shopping center, this building was constructed especially for the ballet dancers and singers from the Bolshoi Theatre back in the early days. The thick parquet wood flooring would allow for any-hours private rehearsals and practice sessions without disturbing the surrounding neighbors.

You can imagine our surprise when, every night beginning between 11:00 and 12:00 midnight, a pianist on the floor above us would begin to play. A Tchaikovsky piano concerto with its octave chords boomed forth powerfully, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev following in close succession. We were in the presence of a master musician and his (or her) dreamily-evocative music transported us to the real Russia behind all of the modern trappings.

Musical memories lend strong feelings to many of life’s events. Perhaps it’s the music you heard while expecting your first child, or when working at your first job, or when dating that special someone. Music is the ornamentation of life, much like the lapel on a suit jacket, the ribbon in a girl’s hair, or the frame around a picture. Music fills in the white spaces and causes our hearts to sing.

Now imagine making music of your own. Maybe it escapes through your windows on a warm spring day, or cheers the hearts of family and friends. Perhaps it lifts the congregation around you in worship, or renders a patriotic moment on a holiday.

Start making music of your own and adding to the memories all around you. Music often expresses what we cannot, and takes us where we never imagined we would be.

———–Copyright 2012 – Alexandra Bartologimignano

(Alexandra jets here and there with her two boys, two girls, one husband, and two dogs, while chronicling their larger-than-life adventures at www.destinationsdreamsanddogs.com.)

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