I find it impossible to concentrate with Classical Music. More specifically, I am unable to use Classical Music to concentrate on any task because I become hyper-focused on the music itself and lose track of everything else.
I tried putting on some music on YouTube while I wrote something, but I lost track of time listening to Yuja Wang play Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major. While I found it challenging to write with the music on, it brought me some nostalgia and inspiration.
The nostalgia, of course, took me to memories of my dad. Particularly when I had the piano at my parents’ house tuned in October. When the tuner left, I asked my dad if he wanted to come with me to the living room to give the piano a try. I meant for him to sit on the couch, but instead, he grabbed a wooden chair and sat right next to me and the piano. Having someone sit this close to me while playing usually makes me uncomfortable. However, I felt completely fine with it and played several pieces for him. I would have never imagined it would be the last time he would watch me play. After the hospital and he was back home, I had the piano tuned again, and I would open up the piano completely and play with abandon, hoping it would lift his spirits hearing me play even though he could no longer make the trek from his bed to the living room. On Christmas Eve–less than twenty-four hours after he passed away–I played again at my parents’ house. This time…for myself. I needed an escape from the conversations, from my thoughts…from Christmas itself. I played to lose myself in the music.
The inspiration is to practice, play, explore, and discover more of this music world. I’ve told many people that the more you’ve lived, the more you’ll appreciate Classical Music. It’s hard to appreciate and identify the emotions behind the music if you haven’t experienced them yourself.
I’ve always enjoyed playing Chopin’s Prelude in E minor. It’s always struck me as beautiful and sad. I’ve been doing some more research on this piece and discovered that when Chopin composed it, he already knew that he was dying. I watched Seymour Bernstein’s lecture on how the piece is meant to be played. In particular, there’s a repeating C-B set of notes that I can now only hear as weeping. When I played it with this in mind, it was quite heavy for me emotionally. Prelude in E minor has forever changed for me. It will always remind me of my Dad, and will always be my lament of not being able to do more.