Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Musical orgasm (I promise you!)

I want to just shut up here so you can listen to this, but I am also bursting to tell you: this was a process like everything else. Eons ago I used to watch a British TV show called The Onedin Line, not really watch it but be transfixed by the theme song which seemed to be describing a magnificent ship in full sail. It was only later, much later, that I found out the piece was from a ballet by Khatchaturian called Spartacus. It's a long way from Kirk Douglas and the Sabre Dance, but it had to come from somewhere.

I don't know, a very long time went by, maybe 30 or 40 years (could it be so?), and something happened, the floor got deeper or the ceiling higher, and I feel now in each chord, each cadence of this piece, a rapture that can only be described as erotic.

This is sexual music, the excruciating, almost unbelievable pleasure, the peaks and valleys, the mounting feverish intensity and the lashing, splashing, furious climax. It's hard to describe such fever in words - one can't without sounding ridiculous - but music comes closer. There are other contenders, perhaps: Daphnis et Chloe by Ravel, which I once heard Bramwell Tovey conduct live with the Vancouver Symphony (a highlight not just of my musical life, but of my life period). It's much more sustained and seems to have acts in it like a great erotic play, with moods on moods. This is just a rhapsody, a passionate lover grabbing a lush young woman and pulling her dress down and smothering her body with kisses. It's the point of no return, when you wonder if it is even possible to feel more than this, not just pleasure but extremity, reaching the very edge of what is possible in a human body.

Sort of like. I told you it was hard to describe.

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