Jul 2, 2009

Gift of Music

There were two articles in today's WSJ. One by Rachel Silverman on A1 was regarding Jefferson's interest in ciphers - coded messages. I suppose many a statements (e.g. Caesar) have had need for such things and so the interest in cryptology for this former Secretary of State is not surprising.

The second article by Barrymore Laurence Scherer on D4 was titled "Thomas Jefferson, Musician." It prefaces Jefferson's renaissance man cultivation, then cites Jefferson's declaration that music was "passion of [his] soul." Incidentally, music played a role in his courtship of the young widow Martha Skelton.

(I'd once played my fiddle for a love interest, but not being Jefferson, the venture came to naught. But, I can attest to its effectiveness as she was quite smitten. The fault lay in my inability to capitalized on the good will from the performance.)

But, most touching of all was another article in D4 by Corinna Fonseca-Wollheim. The gist of it is that ordinary folks can commission new music; "Even Bach Needed Goldberg" as it was. In her article, she cites a touching anniversary gift made by a man in his old age through a commissioned violin sonata by Philip Glass. The connection was made through "Meet the Composer (MTC)," a non-profit that acts as a matchmaker. How wonderful, I thought, it would be if my Darden class would give a gift to the world at our graduation by commissioning a new piece. Jefferson would have approved.

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