(The performance starts around two minutes into this video)
I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time and I’m happy to finally put my thoughts together to bring it to you and hope you enjoy this piece of music as much as I do. ❤️
My dad listened to classical music when I was a kid and I always thought it was boring. But as an adult I’ve become more and more interested in it and I think I finally understand it’s appeal. Evoking emotion is the main point of good music, and good classical music can definitely trigger some feelings. On a side note, check out this interesting article about the psychology around crying from listening to music. Yes, I was curious why certain music would bring me to tears. The answer for me personally is almost universally awe.
My favourite piece that I have discovered so far is well known – the Spanish inspired Bolero, by French composer Maurice Ravel. Particularly this powerful performance by the London Symphony Orchestra with Russian conductor Valery Gergiev is especially moving to me. It’s a very simple song that repeats the same parts over and over for around 15 minutes with very gradual intensity, slowly introducing new instruments into the sound. Perhaps it’s simplicity is part of what makes it so appealing. It’s elegant, and it’s seductive. This piece of music gives me chills every time and usually overwhelms me to tears with that profound sense of awe I mentioned.
Take a bit of time out of your day today for something beautiful. You’ve almost certainly heard bits of this song before somewhere, but really listen to it this time all the way through. For the best experience listen to it loudly, maybe on your home sound system, or headphones if you can.
The expressive movement of the musicians in unison as the song progresses, and the absolute fervor and passion of the conductor is just magical. His poignant facial expressions, his hair all over the place, the way he uses a toothpick as his baton and the sweat flying off him when the song intensifies is all so charming and romantic. Bolero is not just fucking sexy, it is sex.
A very soft and gentle start.
A wonderfully slow build up.
Simple and repetitive actions.
A continued crescendo of tension.
An exciting fortissimo of loud, sweaty, intensity and triumph.
An extremely brief but supremely thrilling climax.
And then ever so quickly, it’s all over.
And you’re left feeling elated and amazed in the beauty and passion of it all.