I am a complete and utter ignoramus when it comes to classical music. Unlike our friend Charlie Stella, I couldn't tell Shostakovich from Rostropovich, the cellist who joined the choir invisible yesterday at age 80. That's him up there giving what the Times called, "an impromptu concert at Checkpoint Charlie after the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989."
The reason I bring him up at all is because I love that picture and can only imagine the sheer joy the moment and the music gave him and how those gathered around him were witnesses to the man's irrepressible celebration.
And while it's true that classical music in our house is more Sonny Boy than Saint-Saëens, I know that in times of darkness and uncertainty, I can always find solace in music. It's the one thing that's never let me down.
That's why I love that picture.
We often speak of the music we listen to when we write, and music we quote in prose. When I was an actor, I landed the role of an Eastern European Jew. I went to the local Rabbi to get lessons in the accent because, as always, I wanted to get it right. The Rabbi took one look at the script and said, "David, I don't see the problem. The melody is written right into the words."
Ah, music is everywhere and we would indeed be a sad and low species without it.
Mstislav Rostropovich, RIP. You can read more about this remarkable man here.
Now, I need to go put on some Coltrane.