Mozart is making me cry right now.

Heck, actually, as we’re speaking, he’s tearing out my soul, tossing it on the ground and stomping on it, as well as ever so gently rearranging all my internal organs and poking a 12-inch vibrator directly into my nucleus accumbens.

Specifically, it’s the first movement of the piano quartet in G minor, kv 478.

I mean, holy mackerel. This stuff is really just too beautiful for words. I feel like I should go smoke a cigarette or something. Or just pass out.

Dvorak certainly thought so. Listen to his Finale (Allegro con brio) of the String Quintet in A minor. Sound familiar?

I always feel the exact same way whenever I hear Lacrimosa, from his Reqiuem mass. You don’t need to be fluent in Latin to hear the words “day of sadness”.

My first introduction to classical music was by way of cartoons. So later on, when I learned that there were people that listened to that type of music without the cartoons, and took it seriously, I was surprized, to say the least.

It is, of course, great music; and I’m sure that if I made it a point to listen to it a lot more than I do, I’d probably have an experience where I’d be “hit” by it and say, “Wow, this stuff REALLY is great!” Or at least I’ve had THAT sort of experience happen a couple of times. Once with the Beatle’s “Sgt. Pepper” album and the other while listening to CSN&Y’s “De Ja vu” (sp?) album.

It’s a strange but nice thing when that happens; NOT “getting” it and then suddenly GETTING it.

Existential/ beer-informed TMI:
The part of Beethoven’s 9th, 4th movement, towards the end, where it gets heavy and they sing “Seid. . . Um-SCHLUNG-en… . … MILL-LI-ION-En. . . dies-er Kuss der. . GANZ-ZENnnn Welt”. . . and then the next little section gets very heavy and oppressive, “Brüder . . über dem Sternenzelt [I love this word: “starry canopy”]. . . Muss ein lieber Vater wohnen” and then slowly and soft and lovely and twiddly with the vocal parts singing slightly apart and it’s so reassuring and like a fever lifting and very slowly and carefully, “Ihr stürzt nieder, Millionen? Ahnest du den Schöpfer, Welt?” and I think “well, yeah, why not? I mean, of course? Wouldn’t you?” and I’m a “hard” atheist and this section of this song is, alternately, a) the closest I ever get to being sure that there has to be a God because otherwise there’s no point to it all or b) an existential crisis that makes me embrace the loveliness of the fact that it is what it is. Then of course I come to my senses, but it makes me at least understand in an experiential way for a time every time I listen to it, alternately, a) religious belief or b) the beauty of dread/ the sublime and being joyful above a depth of 70 thousand fathoms [of nothing] and preserving my “faith”. . . or both simultaneously --wonderful perspective. That Schiller poem and Beethoven’s deployment of it is, along with Cologne cathedral, is one of the most powerful arguments for theism that I’ve experienced (think of this as the atheist equivalent of a “crisis of faith”), but, on the other hand, manmade (however inspired) and it makes me more of a humanist and I dig our species (and makes me more profoundly in love with what I think is just here, sub-meta-physically). We’ve done some great things.