A piece of music found its long way home to my heart
I did not expect much of this Friday evening's open-air live symphony except for having a relaxing TGIF evening in this beautiful place with some live music.
The crowd was scarce, and it fit correctly to my expectation.
The only names registered to my eyes on the evening's program were "STRAUSS" as the rest of the titles were in their original German. So it would be around the late 19 century and early 20th century, mainly the waltz, so I thought.
The program went on very nicely, smoothly, charming, elegant, delicate, and subdued. The pieces were those familiar ones that I've listened to so many times in the past, in my childhood years from a 10-inch phonograph machine my dad brought.
Then it reached the final piece. It was a bit different. I instantly felt vaguely familiar with it, but I was pretty sure it was something definitely not getting acquaintanced until many years after I left China.
It was an exquisite piece with dense sublayers and delicate motifs. The conductor seemed suddenly woke up and being transformed into a new person. Every move he made became a beautiful choreography itself that complimented the music. I could hardly move my eyes away from him as if he held a completely new interpretation of it.
I was unexpectedly touched by this unknown last piece. It strangely related me to Stefan Sweig's melancholy proses about the golden era of Vienna before the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the start of the endless wars and revolutions in the early 20th century.
At that moment, I did not even know this music piece's name.
The next day, I quickly learned it was called the Suite from Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59.
There were two most impressive motifs in this suite. I quickly doodled a simple piano-covered highlight version of the orchestrated waltz piece. But the oboe one proved much harder to transform into a piano tune.
Listening to this 25 minutes suite repeatedly on this Saturday morning brought me a lot of joy and imagination of the gone-by era of pre-war Europe in the early 20th century.
Then my daughter called, and I mentioned this newly discovered music to her.
"Oh, don't you forget that was one piece we played at the California Youth Symphony during my senior year at high school? I was playing one of the oboes and the English horn."
I almost cried over the phone, "no wonder it was vaguely familiar! I was wondering where I spent the time to listen to it through in the past."
High school senior year was a big heavy year for my daughter, like every high-achieving kid in the Bay Area. She could only sleep a maximum of three hours daily. There were so many things going on at the same time. Even acting as her chauffer and events reminder had made my head spin time after time.
Hence we hurried to one of her CYS recitals and shows somewhere in NorCal and listened to this piece of music absentmindedly, busy taking photos of her, recording and checking her next destination on the list.
She must have rehearsed the oboe solo motif in our house once or twice while I was preparing her meals and other needed things, dashing back and forth around her without much attention to the music at all.
Only so many years later did I finally revisit it. The seeds planted then quietly burst into a flower with the love of a mother to her daughter.