Stepping into this little shop, I heard the most perfect melody playing over the store's sound system. It was an instrumental number, something I had never heard before. I was so taken with the melody that I asked the store clerk what tape they had on--she told me, and I looked up the name of the particular number playing. It was from Andrew Lloyd Weber's newly composed Requiem, the Pie Jesu portion of the mass. Only later did I hear it again, and realize that in fact it was a choral number.
I was reminded of this first hearing when my husband and I attended church today--the Pie Jesu was one of the featured pieces of special music. It always brings a tear to my eye--it is just so exquisitely written. If you don't know it, here is Sarah Brightman singing it (it was for her as original featured soloist that Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote the piece):
There have been other pieces of perfect music that have captured me from the first hearing. I loved the series on the Civil War directed by Ken Burns, and fell in love with the one piece they used repeatedly throughout that series: Ashokan Farewell, written by Jay Unger.
Music, of course, has this incredible ability to insinuate itself into the very fiber of our beings. Years ago, when I was invited to go and see a stage version of "Amadeus" I warned my theater companion that I was likely to cry, if I heard any of Mozart's music. Sure enough--the opening strains of one of Mozart's pieces began, and I dissolved into tears.
One of my favorite movie scenes comes from "The Shawshank Redemption" when Andy Dufresne locks himself in the office, and plays an aria from "The Marriage of Figaro" over the prison loudspeaker system. If you've never seen it, go here.
Shakespeare makes multiple references to music in his poems and plays. This quatrain sums up the power of music:
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears: soft stillness and the night
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Merchant of Venice Act V, scene i
Let the sounds of music creep in our ears. Ah, sweet music.
Any favorite piece of sweet music that moves you?