The Joy of Classical Music

Addressing the theme: whether one finds classical music agreeable or disagreeable, old ‘Willy S’ knew something when he wrote the oft repeated phrase: ‘If music be the food of love, play on.’ And, while I embrace most forms of (to me) ‘good’ music, must admit that classical music reaches places within me that other forms less rarely touch. Whether it’s the incredible variety which comes from the inventive mind of Shostakovich, from his Jazz Suite or his more serious pieces; or the prolific musical brain of Tchaikovsky, I welcome it with open ears and heart. The latter’s entrancing Pathetique Symphony – accused of being ‘post-Romantic sentimentality’ – while also being profound, pluck’s at this woman’s heart-strings! But the subject is vast and this is merely a thumb-print, so suffice it to say that classical music can court, woo and seduce like a lover; it can also amuse, titillate, entertain, disturb, frighten; wrap you in a warm embrace and transport you to an ‘other worldly place.’ Conversely, if you are tone deaf or have no time or ear for music, it can leave you confused and ungratified; I personally find this hugely sad. However, the musical coin has a flip side which – for me – represents disagreeable chamber music, which I find as indigestible as yesterday’s Yorkshire pudding!