I think so, too and am glad you like it.
And yes of course there is a personal story that can be told, thank you for asking, Len!
I first listened to this piece about 15 years ago. I found it in the CD collection of my grandparents. Featured on this CD was also Ravels Bolero, which was the reason I borrowed it in the first place. Of course I listened to the whole CD and directly felt drawn to the gravity and deepness of the second movement, but could not really get attached to the first and third, as I found some of the instruments like the trumpets and oboes quite odd and irritating. And then the harp that added this extra cheesy touch! It sounded all too chaotic to my ears, like a musical circus in some way. But I really liked the Adagio Assai and most of the time I just skipped the Allegramente and would not even bother with the Presto. In the summer of this year, my parents, my siblings and I spent some time in Świnoujście (I had to copy and paste this from Wikipedia), which lies in Poland, close to the border to Germany. I took a collection of my favorite CDs of that time with me and was lucky, because someone gave me a portable CD player. Despite the funny name, Świnoujście turned out to be a nice place and the weather was great for weeks. Everybody seemed to calm down and to enjoy the vacation. The house and surrounding nature was nicely secluded and rather rural. It provided enough room and space to always find a quiet place. Due to the great weather, most of the time was spent outside of course. This was where the CD player really revealed its practical benefit because let us be honest, life can be an awful lot, but without music it just does not make any sense at all. But after some time, I started to fear that I did not bring enough CDs to Poland. The songs were getting repetitive and I was already starting to listen to songs I did not enjoy too much listening to. One day, I was lying in the sun and maybe it was a bad mood because I had nothing new to listen to, so I put in Ravel, Piano Concert in G, but was too lazy to skip the first movement. I must have been deaf to not be able to hear this brilliant interaction of sound before, I thought. And after this great spectacle of the first, the second movement, in all its greatness and graveness, made me wish that the clowns with the trumpets and kettledrums were still doing fine. The third movement hit me by surprise. I did not expect this to happen and I was hooked instantly! This was unknown and so uplifting I did not feel ground anymore. Great waves of sound teasing me. Up the scales, down the scales, I could not foresee where this was going, like in a mad rush finally climaxing in pure awesomeness with that theme from the first movement! I was definitely flying by then and in this or a similar way I fell in love with this Gesamtkunstwerk ;D
â€œWithout music, life would be a mistake.â€ ― Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, Or, How to Philosophize With a Hammer
Great story j! It sounds as if by really allowing yourself to slow down, and give a complicated piece of music your full attention, you were able to begin to learn a deeper language. The best music really requires this. And it takes work, full engagement, on the part of the listener. Patience, time, attention… all will be rewarded in the appreciation and understanding of music. This can apply to so many other things in life too…
Music is an alternate kind of transcendent gateway, the learning involved works on different levels in the mind and soul.