Friday night I caught the tail end of a classical music here in L’Aquila. I had to pick up my daughter at piano lessons a half hour before it was to start, so I could only sneak in quietly between movements at the end.
Why even bother? In part because when the company, Officine Musicale (directed by Orazio Tuccella) plays at Palazzetto dei Nobili, usually Vinalia, one of Central Italy’s best wine cellars and among it most refined and creative restaurants, is the main sponsor, and they usually organize an aperitivo for the concertgoers after the show. The other night the special guest was Bianco Colline an interesting, full but balanced white wine from the Azienda Agricola Nicola Di Sipio in the town of Ripa Teatina near the Adriatic coast. This white wine is a mix of Trebbiano (Ugni Blanc), Pecorino and Falagnhina grapes.
But before that there was the music, three symphonies from Franz Joseph Hayden. I’m not a big expert on classical music – I don’t get much farther than the most famous names and their best known works. I know J. S. Bach wrote a lot of piano concertos, and that Mozart died young. Often classical music flips on that switch in my brain that makes me daydream or reflect on things, and I end up missing most of the music. A part of me often likes this as much as the music itself.
That night, as I was standing in the back of the small hall against part of the wooden, medieval chorus like woodwork that lines the lower half of the walls (painting from the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth century fill the rest), something started happening during the second to last movement of the evening. Something started to move inside me, I started to feel a bit warm, happy, and dizzy. The penultimate movement of Hayden’s Trauersymphonie (Symphony 44) made me feel as though I was about to float off the ground.
The glass of white wine, later that night, was what would later pull me back to earth.