Tonight on satellite radio, Robert Aubry Davis played Brahms' German Requiem in a recording conducted by Robert Shaw. Robert Aubry Davis (I always call him by his full name since I fell in love with his voice and his brilliant and funny comments on the old Vox channel on XM Radio.) This delightful channel which played all sorts of music for the human voice from Monteverdi to Verdi and all sorts of masses and plainchants, leider and art songs of all descriptions is no more: a victim of the folding together of the two satellite radio companies. The replacement is the Metropolitan Opera channel on Sirius-XM, which plays ONLY music from the Met, so mostly opera, and many dull old recordings of the played-out few popular operas. But (perhaps due to his large and noisy fan base) R.A.D. soldiers on as a host on the Symphony Hall channel and is as wonderful and well-informed as ever. He searches out rare recordings, and the best recordings, and plans programs for the centennials, tri-centennials and all sorts of anniversaries for musicians. He sends out a weekly email newsletter so we can be sure to catch the things we especially want to hear. And he is a person I love.
In the early 1980s, I sang with the Gavilan College Concert Choir under the direction of Ronald Graham. Preparation for our concerts created the most outstanding musical experiences of my life. And Ron is a person I love, who made a great difference in my life through his teaching. Toward the end of this golden era, we sang the Brahms, or at least as much of it as we could credibly prepare in one semester. Once you have learned such music, it stays with you forever.
In his introduction, Robert Aubry Davis talked about the writing of the this work, and its relation to the deaths of Brahms' mother and the death of his friend and mentor, Robert Schumann. There is a little bit about this in Wikipedia.
As the music began to play, I slowed and then stopped my Kindle-reading of They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell, a beloved author. As I listened, the music entered my chest just above my heart and swelled, swelled, swelled and settled there.
So, there they are, three beloved art-guys.
And above, a rose (planted by my husband, another beloved fellow) after rain. This is one of the first dozen taken with my new camera, a 12 megapixel beauty with a fast sharp lens and a 12x zoom. Might turn out to be the perfect camera.
Might turn out to be a perfect life.