Thursday, January 19, 2012

A musical masterpiece and snow

"Songs and smells will bring you back to a moment in time more than anything else.  It's amazing how much can be conjured with a few notes of a song or a solitary whiff of a room."  - Emily Giffin

Being the sentimental girl I am, I hold this quote dear to my heart.  It's a beautiful concept if you think about it, that a simple piece of music or smell can instantly take you back to a precious moment in time, of which you might not have otherwise been reminded.  It happened to me yesterday afternoon, unexpectedly, like usual.  I was unloading the dishwasher and Ryan was watching Looney Tunes.  A few episodes in was "Rhapsody Rabbit," featuring Bugs Bunny, who plays a concert pianist and performs Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.  The episode was naturally silly, and together Ryan and I giggled from start to finish.  Bugs shot the guy in the audience for coughing (some would not find that funny, I suppose), then incorporated boogie woogie, chopsticks and taps into his piano masterpiece, all whilst battling an annoying and equally talented mouse.  It wasn't Bugs' silliness or Ryan's giggles that left a lasting impression on me, though both were entertaining.  Instead, it was the childhood memory which instantly surfaced upon hearing the music.

When I was eight or nine, my dad took me to see the snow for the very first time.  Vacaville never got snow, and the one stinkin' time it did, in 1988, I believe - a whopping inch or two, I was in Palo Alto visiting my grandparents!  I remember talking to my mom on the phone that morning and sensing sadness and disappointment for and in behalf of me.  There she, my dad and brother were, witnessing what would be a one-time, short-lived winter wonderland outside our front door, while I sat, only 90 miles away, unable to do anything about it.  It was a real bummer, and I remember feeling so disappointed.  Not long after, my dad, who understood and wanted to make it up to me, suggested that we go up to the mountains and find some snow to play in.

He had recently compiled a cassette tape (hey, it was the 80s) containing some classical masterpieces.  Among those he and I could recall were Brahms' Symphony 3, Op. 90 - III, Smetana's Die Moldau (which I learned today my grandma Martha and great aunt Gertrude used to play on the record player when my dad, as a baby, would cry in the night, to lull him back to sleep), Mahler's Symphony 5 - Adagietto, Mahler's Symphony 1, Movement 2 (one of my favorites), and Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (my absolute favorite).  My dad brought the tape along in the car and played it during our two or so hour drive toward Tahoe.  I can't tell you which of those masterpieces I'd heard prior to that drive, but what I can tell you is that each time I hear any one of them now, but especially Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody, I'm instantly taken back to the day, more than two decades ago, when I saw snow for the very first time.

I still remember so vividly driving through the sunlit mountain roads, listening to the beautiful music and gazing out the window with anticipation of spotting that first clump of white on the side of the road.  We eventually found those clumps, and what a magical sight it was for eight or nine-year-old little me.  We parked, hiked around, threw snowballs, possibly made a snow angel or two, and just enjoyed the gorgeous crisp, clean air and stunning views, before hopping back in the car, stopping for Chinese food, and heading home.  It was a fun day with my dad, one I've never forgotten, and one with which I will always associate Franz Liszt's musical masterpiece.

You can watch "Rhapsody Rabbit" HERE, though it's not the English version.  I think Ryan laughed harder watching this than the original because of the "funny talking." 

1 comment:

Wendy said...

I love moments like this one. Glad you had the experience and shared it. :)