During this morning's commute I tuned into what sounded like a modern concerto. I was going to pop in a CD but the concerto grabbed my attention almost immediately and I let that play instead. The woodwind lines were really beautiful and I was impressed by how well the orchestra and pianist blended in together. Sometimes I feel that in pieces with piano and orchestra that the transitions between soloist and ensemble are a bit abrupt or dissatisfying in some other way. But the piece this morning was seamless. The harmonies were interesting and the music kept moving along well. I was wondering if it was one of my beloved French dudes but it actually sounded a little more modern than that. I decided to just wait until the end for them to announce what it was and enjoyed the rest of the piece.
So what did it turn out to be?? Debussy's "Fantasy for Piano and Orchestra". I should have known!
I guess if I were pressed to pick just one favorite composer I would indeed pick Debussy. Even though I'm becoming familiar with a greater variety of works now every time I go back to him I find him refreshing.
I think this is an example of why it's important for young kids to be exposed to good music. While in grammar school I used to watch a show on TV about science that had a theme song that I absolutely loved. The version on the show was an electronic one (see the Isao Tomita site) but I knew it was a piano piece because I had heard it at school. Sometimes the teachers would make us "relax" by forcing us to sit in our seats quietly while listening to the Classical station. Some years later as a young teenager my best friend acquired an LP of Classical pieces and since she knew I liked the stuff she played it for me. What was the first song that came on? That theme song I loved as a child (the proper piano version)! And so it was that after liking the piece for MANY years I finally knew what it was: Arabesque No. 1 by Claude Debussy. That was the beginning of a beautiful love affair. :-)