M is for music that moves me

But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

music.stays
I experience this all of the time, ALL of the time. I find music that moves me in a most profound way: What Happens in the Brain When Music Causes Chills?

Once, I would have been surprised that EVERYONE did not experience this until I saw this article from a couple of years ago: The Actual Neuroscience Behind Why Some People Don’t Like Music, something called musical anhedonia.

But the subtitle of the story about that first story is “The brains of people who get chills when the right song comes on are wired differently than others.” So it could be all of God Only Knows by the Beach Boys or the guitar solo at the end of Let’s Go Crazy by Prince, that will take me to another plane.

I saw the movie West Side Story when I was 10 or 11, and it was the music bit at the very end – go to the 4-minute mark here – that absolutely devastates me EVERY TIME I hear it. EVERY TIME. Of course, this comes from what takes place before.

I’ve described in detail how the Adagio in G Minor, attributed to Albinoni leaves me weeping, EVERY TIME.

I was really taken by 10,000 singing Beethoven – Ode an die Freude (Ode to Joy). What it lacks in polish, it more than makes up for in pure love.

Sometimes, it’s a lyric that will combine with the music. Listen to Finlandia, for instance:
DigitalFox
This is my song, O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is,
Here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine.
But other hearts in other lands are beating,
With hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.

In what we call classical music, particularly in organ music, it’s often the chords that resolve the piece that feel like the power chords at the end of a rock song. Listen to Digital Fox, organ music of the late Virgil Fox on a CD I own. Note the endings of most of the pieces, but especially J.S. Bach: Toccata and Fugue in D Minor (0:00:00), J. Alain: Litanies (0:38:05), and C.M. Widor: Toccata from the Fifth Symphony (0:42:25), which I first heard at my graduation from library school.

This list of music that moves me doesn’t even scratch the surface.

ABC Wednesday – Round 19

Fridays in Lent: Adagio in G Minor, attributed to Albinoni

Arlene Mahigian was like my choir mom, taking my robe home to wash it every summer, though I never asked her to,

AlbinoniI remember quite well the first time I heard Adagio in G Minor, presumably by “the 18th century Venetian master Tomaso Albinoni, but in fact composed almost entirely by the 20th century musicologist and Albinoni biographer Remo Giazotto.”

I was a member of the choir of my former church, and we were preparing to sing the Mozart Requiem in March of 1985. A beloved member of our choir, our soprano soloist, Arlene Mahigian, had been struggling with cancer. She was like my choir mom, taking my robe home to wash it every summer, though I never asked her to, and the like. She was clearly not going to be able to sing the Mozart. But she did make the performance, in a wheelchair.

The opening number was the Adagio, performed by her husband Leo, who was, for a time, concertmaster of the Albany Symphony Orchestra, on violin, and their son, Peter, on organ. Arlene died about three weeks later, and I saw her in the hospital a day or two before she passed, when she squeezed my hand to let me know she knew I was there.

Here’s Adagio in G Minor, which made me cry then and it still does, especially at about the seven-minute mark.