Enigma variations

One of my favorite ways to feel comfort is to remember and listen to some of my favorite pieces. 

One of my all time favorite pieces is the Enigma Variations by Sir Edward Elgar *.  I remember hearing it for the first time at a high school AllState concert (I was in the choir).  I was spellbound.  Of course, the variation played is the most famous one: Nimrod.  It sounded like (and still does) an insult you would use in grade-school.  Anyway, Elgar wrote these variations to "my friends pictured within".  But the exciting thing about these pieces is the mystery behind them.  There are two themes, Elgar tells us that tie them all together.  But only one is known and confirmed by Elgar.  The other "larger theme" is one that many guessed at, but never got.  Elgar took the secret of what that theme is to his grave.  Doesn't it just make you want to listen to them all?  I love it when authors and composers don't spell everything out for us. 

Ok, here's Leonard Bernstein conducting :

Positively delicious, isn't it?  Bernstein takes it a little slow for my tastes, but that just gives you more time to let that sound wash over you like a friend saying, "I know it's hard, come let me hold you for a while".   Truly this piece is a gift to the soul.   I hope it brings you as much comfort as it does to me.

*This piece also happened to be played at the symphony on my first date with Jeffrey.  Destiny!!!


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