When it comes to music, I try to keep things interesting and listen to a wide variety.
Nowadays, there’s almost infinite access to streaming services and personalized play lists, so it’s easy to stay up to date on new albums and releases. Soul, blues, rap, rock, instrumentals, experimentals, Latin — I love it all. But with so much music to explore and enjoy, I’ve admittedly lost touch with one of my favorite genres: classical music.
My desire to get back into classical has grown over the last two weeks or so, thanks in part to a wild international news story and the chance to see a live orchestra performance.
The first thing to re-kindle my interest was the mysterious escape of embattled former Nissan-Renault auto executive Carlos Gohn from Japan. Gohn was on house arrest and awaiting trial for financial crimes in Japan, but fled for Lebanon on Dec. 29. He reportedly slipped past authorities by hiding in a double-bass case taken out of his home. Whether or not this is how Gohn actually escaped remains unclear, but the color of this story strangely made me want to revisit the soothing sound of stringed instruments.
And, that’s exactly what I did.
Two days later, my excitement for classical music peaked again with the the last-minute chance to see a symphony orchestra perform on New Year’s Eve. With seats in the music hall’s nosebleed section, I figured my I wouldn’t see much detail on stage, but my birds-eye-view and some amazing acoustics really drew me in. It was fascinating to watch the conductor and musicians come together for a sweeping performance and to hear each individual instrument contribute to the sound. I left with a renewed appreciation for this audible art.
Sadly, I think classical music gets a bad reputation as being too old or too stuffy for your average listener. New music is exciting and there’s nothing wrong in keeping up with it, but if you ask me, the complexity, craft and cohesion of classical music is simply timeless and something everyone can enjoy.