Angels in Our Midst

I just finished listening to Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Bruno Walter conducting.  I have two different recordings of the 9th by Bruno Walter, and two other versions–one by Dohnanyi and the other by Nagano.  They each bring out a different aspect of the world masterpiece.

While I was listening, I thought back on my journey with classical music.  I was introduced to classical music through my sister, Sherry.  For her graduation gift, Sherry asked for the Time-Life history of classical music series.  She would play symphonies on my dad’s stereo in the living room, and I listened.  At first it all sounded the same to me.  But as we talked, and I listened more, the subtleties became manifest, indeed, the vast differences in style and content.  Then there was my friend Paul.  He was avidly learning cello, and ended up playing first chair at the famed Tanglewood Orchestra.  He was the son of a conductor.  Paul and I listened to countless recordings of classical music, Paul commenting on the different conductors and what they were doing and which ones he liked best (Fritz Reiner).  Then there was Virgil Fox.  Virgil Fox went all around the country playing Bach on his touring organ with a light show.  He drew in us hippies.  Finally there was Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.  Kieth Emerson played actual symphonies with his rock group, and interspersed his “classical rock” with passages from Bach and other classical composers.  All these friends and performers introduced me to classical music when I was a teen.  Without these angels, I wonder if I would have taken to classical music.  I can’t imagine my life without Bach and Beethoven, and the other classical greats.

These people who came into my life added to my life.  They gave me the gift of Beethoven and Bach, the gift of the classics.  Then there are the actual composers who give us the very music I’m talking about.  How much of the good things in our lives are gifts from friends, from angels in our lives!

And I’m only talking about classical music.  There is also poetry, religions, visual arts, teachers and schools.  There is so much in my life–so much that is my life–that came to me through other people.

All this comes from God, but not directly.  God speaks through humans, acts through humans.  The good and happy things that God wants for us are given to us through our fellow humans.  And the capacity to bring good gifts to others, is also a gift from God.  That we can participate in the happiness God wants for us all, makes us happy, and we are gifted with the ability to participate in God’s will for universal happiness for the whole human race.


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