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It is cold—very cold—and it’s just beginning.

Somehow that matters little in my warm study when enveloped within Winter Dreams, the subtitle of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 in G minor (1866) played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Yuri Temirkanov. The first movement, fragile and effervescent, evokes inchoate scenes of what wasn’t there before: 

Moonlit snow-scapes—wind-startled frozen lakes—flocked mountain pines—brush-filled meadows—gust-sculpted cathedrals—critter-tracks meandering over hills—color-splashes angling down slopes and crisscrossing paths.

Beneath this frozen world, deep smiles thaw my imagination; trickles of water create wiggle-room for my breathing. Like the first morning of creation, Beauty still evokes deep joy and zest for living.

Listening to Winter Dreams plunges us within its critical cycle of brilliance. Color’s own brilliance will return, in time.

Winterlight is like a calico stalking the bands of darkness. Winterlight is like a city pigeon hovering over cathedral spires. Winterlight is like a solitary cardinal preening atop a plank fence.

Winterlight is like the sapphire mantel of a nurturing mother. Winterlight is like the warming blanket toasting a surgery patient. Winterlight is like brittle chocolate smarting the palate.

Winterlight is like a warrior gentling over ice-strewn riverbanks. Winterlight is like a grandfather’s joshing with a gummy-faced toddler. Winterlight is like the hesitant first kiss of lovers.

Its strange beauty inflames spirit …




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