One of my childhood movies was ‘The Sound of Music‘ starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer (I liked the movie but never quite understood how the dynamic and witty Maria-Julie Andrews could fall in love with the dull Captain von Trapp-Christopher Plummer; let’s say it: the poor Plummer roamed through the whole film with a ‘what-am-I-doing-here?’ look, didn’t he?).
I remember that ‘my favourite things’, sung by Julie Andrew with her clear and beautiful British accent, was – indeed – my favourite song. Behind the simple lyrics by Hammerstein II (remember: “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things”?) hid a very practical and useful advice. Ok, “It’s not Mozart” (that’s what Gérard Depardieu could say; did you see the movie “Green Card” and the fabulous scene where he plays the piano at a high-society party?). Nonetheless, later in life, I delvelopped the habit of making a list of my favourite things (more than 5 and less then 10) to cheer me up, let’s say, when I get up in the morning and I realize that I still have to work 25 more years before I reach State pension age (!).
And found out that it works!
One of my first entries is always : walking by the Music Conservatory in Pesaro and hearing music playing from within.
I cannot describe the magic of walking all around the perimeter of the Music Conservatory. Especially in the Spring and in the Summer time, when students keep the windows open, you can hear a solitary sahophone playing, or a cello, or a soprano warbling.
The Conservatory named after the composer Gioachino Rossini who was born in Pesaro, is in the centre of town, in a pedestrian zone. So many interesting things could be written about the history of this Conservatory (i.e. that it hosts manuscripts and memorabilia of the Pesarese composer in the so called ‘tempietto rossiniano’ or that Pietro Mascagni, Amilcare Zanella and Riccardo Zandonai were its first directors). However I won’t.
I just would like to show you a few pictures of the less well-known facade of the Conservatory (the one side facing the beautiful 18th-century Maddalena Church by Vanvitelli), hoping to share with you the calm and fulfilling sensation which pervades me each time I pass by on my way to our ‘orchestra sessions’.
As a matter of fact, not only do I write lists of ‘favourite things’, but – as each of us does, I think – I do have my personal rites and favourite streets to walk along.
Each time I go to play the violin with my friends at Daniele’s (my violin maker friend), unless I am late, I never take a short cut from the parking place to his workshop.
I take the longer one instead and walk all around the Music Conservatory hoping to hear some music.
Better if the sound is a bit distant. Like an echo. To me it’s like remembering something blissful and eternal.
If according to Shakespeare “we are such stuff as dreams are made on” – to me “we are such stuff as music is made on”.