BeethovenToday’s Word: ‘Beethoven’ as in… Ludwig van.

“Nailed it!” I said it out loud, driving home after my workout this morning. It was Ludwig van Beethoven. The piece was Piano Sonata No. 21, “Waldstein.” Because Beethoven is one of my favorite classical composers, I can usually identify his music. I was 6 years old when I first heard “The Moonlight Sonata” and I was hooked.

“Nailed it!” I said again.

Full disclosure: I only knew that I was listening to Beethoven. Identifying the name of the piece is a whole other deal.

I listen to Classical MPR every morning and, as I’ve indicated here before, the host is John Birge, one of my closest friends that I’ve never hung out with. I did meet him once, but the room was crowded just before a concert at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, so we didn’t have time to chat. We do email, though, and John always gets back.

Anyway, I was playing “Name That Composer.” I listen to the piece and attempt to identify the composer without looking at the radio display. It’s great when I can identify the composer as well as the name of the piece, but the real joy comes from simply listening. I feel positively affected when I listen to Beethoven. Or Brahms, or Shubert, or Rossini, or Mendelsohn, or Chopin, or Haydn, or Bach, or even John Williams. I also feel that way when I listen to Snarky Puppy, or Erik Mongrain, or Jay Stocker, or Jeff Lorber. But that’s another story.

The phrase “The Mozart Effect” comes from the fascinating studies that suggest that listening to Mozart’s music in general, and the Sonata in D for Two Pianos in particular, has a positive effect on the brain.

There’s a ton of research behind all of that, but all I know is that when I listen to any of these composers, all is well.

I feel more spirited, creative, connected, present, grateful, generous, even missional.

I feel more in rhythm with who I am and what I’m doing here.

So, who fills your heart with healthy rhythms?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s