Wednesday, September 10, 2014

A Celebration Worthy of the Name

Today* is my birthday.  It will be celebrated, ironically, with an evening of chamber music shared with friends old and new.  The irony of this did not actually hit me until I began that last sentence.

It lies in the realization that the traditional familial birthday celebration among European families of a certain social standing would include chamber music readings for which every family member would have been assigned a part.  When I was privileged to take part in that culture, which I did during my Fulbright year, I was aware of two things: 1) how wonderful it was and 2) how utterly out of whack that would be in terms of modern American life: the assumption of conformity within the family seemed at the time and still seems un-American to me.  I firmly believe that every generation has to find or make its own musical expression.

And here I will be, playing the Brahms Horn Trio together with my son Jacob on natural horn and Gregor Kitzis playing violin, and the whole undertaking was Jacob's idea.  Among those listening will be my daughter Rachelle, a self-taught singer/songwriter/musician on all sorts of instruments, and a listener beyond compare.

Unbelievable.  Such a thing could never happen.

*The post is written several days before it is posted....