In my humble opinion the symphony is man’s greatest achievement. Of course, it depends on what the symphony is performing. I don’t want to get into my favorite composers…well…ok….my favorite is clearly Beethoven, but there are many other great composers. When I am feeling negative about man’s direction and a feeling of despair begins to weigh my spirits down, I always tend to think about the symphony as a symbol of hope.
Men and women performers come together for an audience and produce sounds and images that seem to come from another world. A symphony seems to have the power to combine all the Muses into a single language that elevates above all the other art forms. Of course, one must be in the frame of mind and spirit to accept and receive the gift from those wonderful performing artists and the composer. There is no point listening to a profound symphony while stuck in traffic or rushing to a performance straight after a mind numbing day at work. One must take the time to prepare one-self for such an event.
I am not sure I am in a place to accept such profound gifts at this current time, but in my past such symphonic performances touched my soul and lifted my spirits to immense heights. At the peak of my youth, I quit my job in Europe and traveled for over a year. I re-read many of the great classics (Ancient Greece, Rome, and the Renaissance), wrote, pursued photography, frequented numerous museums, absorbed the architecture, enjoyed great food and wine, observed the beautiful women walking here and there, and on occasion would attend symphonies.
These performances seemed to synthesize everything I had been absorbing around me and elevated the senses to even greater heights. Oh, how far away I am from that state of mind to be able to accept such gifts. If only I could again hear that beautiful pagan-like voice cutting through all the clutter that surrounds me lifting my spirit up to demigod like status. I fear that I may never again be in the state to receive the greatest gift mankind has to offer…but I will nevertheless try.