Love at First Listen. Over the last few weeks, they asked listeners to write in and tell them which piece of music made them fall in love with classical music, and they have compiled those stories and are playing the music.This week for Valentine's day, my local classical music station is airing a feature called
Also, since I couldn't possibly anticipate the actual pieces in the vote, I'm asking you to answer the question in a general way in the vote, then please describe the piece in the comments. What was the piece of music? When did you hear it? What made you love it so much? Do you still love that piece? Did you ever get to play that piece? Was the artist part of what made you love the piece?
For me - wow, it's a hard question, so I'll describe a few pieces that made me fall in love with violin music:
• "Waltz of the Flowers" from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker Ballet" - when I was nine years old, I was taking ballet lessons, and I had just started taking violin. I was doing a few too many activities to fit our schedule, so I had to give up something, and I decided to give up ballet so I could spend more time on violin. (It was a pretty easy equation: I was bad at ballet, good at violin!) I was going to dance in one more recital, and our class was dancing to "Waltz of the Flowers." When I informed my teacher that I'd be quitting so I could play the violin, she said brightly, "Well maybe one day you will play the Waltz of the Flowers!" I thought, "Wow, no way is that possible...." But indeed, she was right! What a perfectly kind thing for her to say to me, at that young age.
• Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto - I grew up in Denver, Colorado, and my hero was the violinist Eugene Fodor, a hometown classical hero who really made a splash, taking the top prize at the 1974 International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow. A family friend gave me a cassette tape of Fodor's recording of the Tchaikovsky concerto and Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso by Saint-Saens, and I listened to it hundreds of times, until I basically wore out the tape. Just listening to the opening bars of that piece makes me feel like someone is putting a warm comforter around me.
• Stravinsky's Petrouchka - Yes, I had a huge crush on a trumpet player for a while in high school. Nothing came of it - except a huge love for "Petrouchka," a piece I absolutely adore to this day. I feel like this was my first "love at multiple listens" piece that threw me into a relationship with classical music that was a little more complex. I invested in listening to this piece, and my feelings for this music grew very deep.
It's interesting, a lot of the music that I love now is different from those pieces that sparked my initial interest. (I'm noticing, it was all Russian music!) I am more drawn now to Bach, for example. But I also still absolutely love the music that first drew me in!
What was your 'love at first listen' piece that made you love violin music? And please tell us about it specifically, in the comments!
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