With the onset of some autumn-ish weather my ears are turning toward music of the same ilk. To whom can we go to find a fall-flowering? For times such as these the Norse gods of Norway, Finland, and Russia are always dependable.
The “Death of Åse” and “Solveig’s Song” from Peer Gynt, by Edvard Grieg, droop with a melancholic tone which punctuates the early evenings of November. Pay no attention to the fact that Peer Gynt is set in Africa. It reeks of Grieg's Norway.
In my heart these pieces belong next to a warm hearth shared by a faithful canine and a studious individual contemplating the inevitability of a personal autumn while staring into the flames. The October Horse has run its race and the harvest is over.
Sibelius, not to be out done by his Norwegian neighbor, gives us Valse Triste. We need not have extensive language skills to understand that means “sad waltz”. Can I be the only one who hears leaves of yellow, orange, and red waltzing their way to the ground in Sibelius’ dance pathetique?
Russian choral music is a must have for November. I don’t bother myself with the translations as I’m content to immerse myself in the mystical tones of Russian Orthodoxy. To quote Depeche Mode, "Words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm."
The entire album, Sacred Treasures III, from which this “Serenade” comes is available on Spotify. Might I suggest putting it on repeat on a gloomy morning? A warm beverage is required.
It seems obvious at this point that I need to take a trip outside the confines of Southern California and its potential Santa Ana conditions.