Thoughts On What Might Have Been

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It saddens me to realize I have more in common with my dad since he passed away than I ever had when he was alive.  Granted, he died when I was just 14.  It was very sudden.  I lost him just at that age when you start to see your father as more than just a father figure.  At that age he becomes more a guide and mentor as you transition from child to adult. 

Here are two major passions I now share with him that I didn’t when he was alive.

Photography and classical music.

I developed (pun intended) an interest in photography in my early 20’s.  At that time I was going to a lot of football (soccer) games and would take photographs of the action on the field.  But the images would never come out as I would see them through the viewfinder.  The players always appeared too far away, too small in the photographs.  So I bought a photography magazine one day, thinking it would help me figure out what I was doing wrong.  This had two effects.  First, I quickly realized I needed a better camera.  Second, a new passion was born.  I bought two cameras, a Praktika and a Canon.   Over the years I have taken hundreds of photographs, even several weddings.

Just like my dad.

Now, in my 40’s, I have a passion for classical music.  This also happened by chance.  I often watch videos on YouTube.  I like to watch stuff from the past, comedy clips, TV shows etc.  For nostalgia, really.

One night I’d just watched something and saw a few links to Popular Classical Music videos.  I watched one on impulse.  Mainly out of curiousity to see how many I knew.  On watching that, two things struck me.  First, I actually knew every piece of music in that video.  Second, I really enjoyed listening to it!  So, after watching a few more I decided to delve into the music of each composer.  Everyone knows the popular stuff.  I wanted to see what else I was missing out on.  So the first night I began with Beethoven.  Then I moved on to Mozart.  Next I tried Tchaikovsky and the next night I delved into the music of Dvorak.

My passion quickly grew into obsession.  I listen to classical music every night.  I just can’t get enough of it.

Today it struck me just how much I have in common with my dad.  It makes me happy to think how like him I’ve become.  He was a good man who brought me up right.  I had a wonderful childhood, full of love. He always listened to his music on with headphones on, I guess he wanted to hear it loud without disturbing anyone. So I never really heard the music as a child. Perhaps if I had I would have taken a liking to the music at an earlier age.

But it saddens me to think of what I’ve missed out on.  The conversations we could have had.  Listening to classical music together.  I like to think he’s watching over me with pride at the man I’ve become.

My Greenwich Village Concert Review

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I just got home from a classical music concert and wanted to post this blog while it was still fresh in my mind.  The Greenwich Village Orchestra performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto as well as Elgar’s Enigma, Variations On An Original Theme.

The first thing I want to say is I’ve only been into classical music since the middle of January, 2014, so that’s just under ten months.  This was only my second live classical concert.  Oddly enough, my first was also at the Greenwich Village Orchestra, in March.

Beethoven’s Violin Concerto is one of my top three favourite classical music pieces.  Another of the three, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, is also going to be performed by this orchestra in April 2015, so I’ll be going to that one, too.

So, on to the concert.  It was amazing!  The Greenwich Village Orchestra are a very talented group of musicians.  It only costs $20 a ticket and they’re great value for that price.

The violin solo was played by Itamar Zorman, who began studying violin at the age of six.  He was outstanding and received a richly deserved ovation at the end.  His violin playing elevated an already great all round performance to a whole new level.  The whole of the first movement I just revelled in the glorious music.  The second movement is slower and quieter and that’s where I hit the only sour note on the whole afternoon.  Some person, or people, seemed to find the need to walk around a lot during virtually the whole second movement.  High heels on a wooden floor are not quiet!  And the same person, or people, seemed to feel the need to keep opening the doors at the back of the hall.  Those doors are heavy and make quite a noise when allowed to slam.  I know there were a few people there with very young children and I can only assume those children became restless.  But even that distraction, along with the inevitable coughing that always seems to happen at events like these, couldn’t spoil what was a fantastic performance.  When Itamar Zorman makes a return visit I’ll be there whatever he plays.  It was a pleasure to hear him!

The concert ended with a surprise rendition of Pomp and Circumstance which, as a Brit, I really enjoyed.

I’m sure there are a lot of people who love classical music but don’t go to many live performances because the price can be quite prohibitive.  Especially the philharmonic orchestras.  But the Greenwich Village Orchestra is well worth a visit.  At $20 a person they are amazing value.