We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Music. I like to immerse in it, as fully as my feeble senses are able. I want to appreciate the author's efforts, intents, and talent, and to be enlivened by it.
With serious, ambitious music (as opposed to catchy pop music like Verdi opera, and ZZ Top), I am best with no distractions, lying down with eyes closed. My lack of a musical brain and of musical talent has been a lifelong disappointment to me.
My music education (to become a more discerning and considerate listener) was limited to my Dad, to a college music history and appreciation course, lots of listening, info via Mrs. BD who had the benefit of a wonderful music education - and to the music courses from The Teaching Co, now Great Courses.
Isn't it the same way with everything? Art, music, littacher, woodworking, auto mechanics, tree-felling, masonry, gardening, shooting, and race-car driving? It's all called "eddication," but the best of it is not formal. We pursue it because it adds to being alive, "enriches" life as they say.
When I was growing up, Dad liked to take us all to the opera. The preparation for it included reading the story and the history and context of the opera, listening to it through at least a time or two, and going over the libretto. German, Italian, French - we'd muddle through it with the original and the translations, and after a while we'd sort of get the gist of these languages - the rhythms of them, the sounds, the flow, some of the grammar and lots of the vocab. (With his five kids, he approached opera, Shakespeare and Sophocles the same way. He did not want us to miss out on the glories. Thanks, Dad and Mom, for the cultural heritage and for opening so many doors. You could call it Home Schooling.)
I am slowly getting to the point of this meandering post, which is about Dvorak's String Quartet No. 12 in F Major, Op. 96. aka "American Quartet." It's probably his most popular quartet piece, and it's a doozy. We heard it performed last month, and, despite my ADD, Restless Leg Syndrome, etc., I do my best to let myself sink into music as if into a pool of water. I did notice that the First Violin gal played the entire thing with her eyes closed, immersing herself physically and emotionally and letting the others follow her lead.
The Vivace is wonderful, but the whole thing is emotional.
My point is that I listened to it again on Youtube when I got home, and twice again in the early morning and a few more times since. Then I started to really get some idea and flow of the piece, and only now I am ready to hear it live again. I think I am now at the point where the serious listeners with good ears begin to hear this entertainment.
For people with shortcomings (now called " musical learning disabilities") like me, live concerts should just do one piece - three times. Then go out for supper. Give this three times if you are as musically-retarded as I am, and see what you think. It's a cool piece:
A suggestion ... the best way to appreciate music is to perform music. So find a friend who plays guitar, practice singing I'll be your baby tonight or One for my baby (and one more for the road), find an open mic night and perform. Dwork be damned. This is what music is supposed to be.