Sunday, June 17, 2007

Music Therapy 

A one-time acquaintance once said to me, in the context of her HR consulting business, “Start where the client is”. That seemed like a good maxim to apply in a bit of self-administered music therapy, too. So these tracks, all by Vaughan Williams, were my choice to accompany a Sunday evening’s ironing, in an attempt – at least partially successful – to move beyond this present attack of melancholia.

Admittedly Flos Campi is hardly melancholic, but the darker tones of the viola and the exotic nature of the music (at least in the context of the time and place in which it was written) are sufficiently far removed from mere prettiness to suit my mood.

The Five Variants on Dives and Lazarus which I chose next take as their theme much more appropriate subject matter.

At this point I did try the Serenade to Music, but abandoned it after a few bars – too soft, too sentimental.

Now the Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis – a transition to something brighter by way of the abstract.

Next the Fantasia on the Old 104th – the theme is undeniably, powerfully positive – yet voiced by a large choir it can still remain impersonal.

I thought about, but didn’t yet dare play the Five Mystical Songs – to hear those properly is to open one’s soul to some powerful messages. Perhaps tomorrow.

For today then I finished with The Lark Ascending – gently joyful in a straightforward way; a brightness, a lightness seen and appreciated, yet still, if one chooses, a little remote; one does not yet have to participate fully.

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