Friday, November 21, 2008

Brahms is a Blanket

It's been nearly a week since I played the Brahms symphony with the orchestra, but there are strains that are still floating in my head. I'll have to learn new music so I can start humming something else, only I don't want to hum something else.

At my lesson on Monday, my horn teacher said he'd heard Brahms horn parts described as being like a warm blanket. That's exactly what they are, not just to listen to but to play. You float on the higher notes and slide down into the lower notes and wrap up with the mellow notes in between.

It's like when you settle in at the end of the day. The doors are locked, and your coat is hanging in the closet because you don't have to go out again until morning. You're comfortable on the couch or in your favorite chair. You aren't hungry or thirsty. You aren't too cold or too hot. Nothing hurts, and nothing itches. You've got a hot mug of coffee or a full glass of wine, whichever you prefer. You put your feet up because you're about to watch a movie that makes you happy every time you see it—for me, that's something like Oklahoma or Rear Window or Guys and Dolls. You can look forward to the next few hours without interruption and without worry and without having to do anything but inhale, exhale and enjoy. Want some popcorn? It's handy. Think a little ice cream would hit the spot? Here's a dish of mint chocolate chip. Wish you had a blanket to make the scene absolutely gratifying? Then have a Brahms horn part and wrap up in it. This one is plush and breathable and in your favorite color.

Am I overstating the sensation playing Brahms can inspire? Probably, but what's the harm in conjuring a metaphor of ultimate contentment? Brahms' horn parts are good, so good in fact, that happiness and comfort and satisfaction come to mind when you hum them days after playing them.

What experiences have you had that gave you the sensation of being wrapped in a blanket and stayed with you long afterwards?


dive said...

What a beautiful post, Robyn.
I know exactly what you mean.
With me it is Bach. I've spent the morning with his St.Matthew Passion; yesterday it was Goldberg Variations.
Autumn is a good time for wrapping yourself up in a blanket of comfort food and warm, reassuring music.

Rich said...

Wow what a great description, Robyn. I was starting to feel all warm and fuzzy for a moment there.

For me the feeling of being all wrpped up in a blanket usually comes after I make love.

Mark said...

Billie Holiday just melts my heart. And a glass of brandy warms my soul.

Alifan said...

I must say several pieces of music does that to me, but have to say listening to Dive playing moody blues guitar is rather special to me....

savannah said...

that warmed me just reading it, sugar! have a warm weekend! xoxo