Monday, February 07, 2005

Midlife crisis?

Hooray, hurrah, yipee, the pop-ups have gone! We can get back to normal now...

A friend wants to borrow some rare Korngold chamber music from me, so I dug out a few CDs I haven't played for a while and have been listening to them. I'm wondering whether this is symptomatic of an imminent midlife crisis, but I'm not responding to them in the way I used to. There are things in old EWK that I love as much as ever: Die tote Stadt, some of the songs, The Sea Hawk, the Sinfonietta... But it has finally struck me that after 20 years, if I still can't quite get to grips with the Violin Sonata, the Op.23 Suite et al, then I probably never will. Finally I began to think the unthinkable: Am I Growing Out Of Korngold?!?

This is TERRIBLE. I feel as if I am being disloyal to my oldest and once-dearest friend, someone whose warmth and generosity used to light up my life, but whose shortcomings such as overambition, overcomplication and, sometimes, lack of focus have started to get me down. Perspective is provided by my other old and dearer-than-ever friend, Faure, whose music strikes me as more magical every time I hear it, with never a note out of place (even when there are lots!) and imaginative depths that reveal more and more wonders the further you explore them.

I used to think (if Tom will forgive me for doing so!) of Korngold as the husband to whom I've been long married and whose faults help him to be endearing, with Faure as a kind of elusive dream lover who can never quite be grasped and remains a shining, out-of-reach ideal. Trouble is, now I want to marry my dream lover - and just at the time when Korngold's big anniversary year, 2007, needs some serious attention and I ought to help plan some celebrations. Ouch.

Maybe I'm just getting older. Maybe I really am having a midlife crisis...