Monthly Archives: November 2009

Late Brahms is like an old wine

I can enter into interesting worlds when exhausted. The air vibrates after getting off a plane, and the sparkling frost on the mountains in the moonlight has an extra aura when looked at through blurry vision. I noticed a Montana smell when arriving in Bozeman this morning. A fresh crisp air that reminds me of a good gin and tonic. I have decided that the land here is masculine and back east feminine. The lush green and abundance of fruits and vegetables are a wonderful gift from the land in New England, and the winter an understandable rest from such productivity. Here the land always beckons you to challenge your limits, to strive for a higher goal, and to hold onto enduring strength and courage in the face of harsh early frosts and snows, unpredictable and dramatic weather changes, and a searing bright sun.

I was speaking with a Montanan on the way back from NY, and she asked me if living in Bozeman had changed my sound. I think it has. There is a certain expansiveness that was not there before, and a poise. Montanans are never rushed, and I am learning how to stay rhythmically centered after years of pushing forward, rat race style.

A word about Brahms: he is my favorite composer without a doubt, and having just played with someone who shares this feeling, I think I found heaven. The depth of his emotional world reminds of the best wine I ever drank. On the first sip there was an immediate fullness, that continued to evolve into a multiplicity of tastes and sensations in the mouth of heat, sweetness, spice and at last a smooth surrender that shows a wisdom that only an old wine can know. A grape, crushed in it’s prime, trapped in a bottle, fighting the rot of time with natural preservatives, produces a wise and complex drink. Brahms takes you into the world of passion and wisdom, embracing the pain and joy alike to reach a place of serenity and wisdom. What a man!