I soothe myself by having a warm and mind-refreshing bath. Far from agitation and disturbance, far from annoyances and other niggling thoughts, I do my own thing. Sometimes, especially in the past, I would feel as if I was an alien. Not now, not today, maybe not even anymore. I allow myself to take a deep breath, to exhale profoundly, to wander.
All our senses are interlaced, tangled as a stiff and attracting spider web. However, I guess I would not be able to stand a hearing loss. I can now close my eyes, a skilful classical piece of music could do the trick when needed. This one is Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata, a masterpiece written for violin and piano. The A tonality is unable to unveil the minor character except for when it is essentially unavoidable, creating an increasing drama in each turn and twist.
A first movement full of energy and tragedy provokes the soul, awakening any hibernating creature. Then comes the energetic and invigorating second, this time apparently for want of drama, able to warm up like the blazing sun of midday. Mid-movement and nostalgic thoughts are triggered again. Before you end up miserable and wretched, a blissful and charming melody takes over. Then it is time for the finale, a hasty but controlled third movement where a sense of unambiguous direction would lead the listener (restive or not) to a charming F tonality. The end. Afterwards, music is silence and silence, your companionable friend.
Talking about musical tension and drama is tricky. Take notice that I have invested literally thousands of hours listening to classical music, and yet I find the experience extremely difficult to unravel. Maybe each person does feel something totally different. In fact, I became fond of this particular piece on 2003. Since then, my response has been metamorphosing like a worm when it becomes a butterfly: from awe to deep love, from enthusiasm to a faded and almost dismissive hearing (observe that I am not saying listening).
Nonetheless, The Kreutzer remains invariably in my “Classical Musical: The Essentials” playlist as though it was a building block of my own existence. I will make a confession, it is aimed at the pastoral reader whose sentient idiosyncrasy or delicacy could have surely been provided with good judgement. When emptiness appears and zest for life wants to run away, I never kowtow to other than Beethoven.
Among the treasures of his vast collection of opuses, Beethoven’s works for Violin and Piano shine and sound with a special and characteristic feature: they can raise me from the grave. A gloomy day, overcast and ice-cold. I feel depressive, Beethoven comes and I let the music interact with me until I am calmed down, resuscitated, alive and soothed.