One of my New Year’s resolutions was to listen to more music. When I say music, I don’t mean Take That’s latest album (although I do have it and jolly good it is too) but classical music. I have this romantic idea of the children growing up with classical music constantly playing in the background. Luckily this resolution of mine coincided with my finally working out how to burn music from my laptop onto a CD. This summer when I was staying with my friend Rachel in Corsica I copied a recording of a piano concerto played by Daniel Barenboim onto my machine. Last week I burnt it onto a CD and have been playing it non-stop ever since. It is like an angel has taken up residence in my CD player and is gently, gracefully tapping out these incredible sounds. We tried to guess who the composer of this angelic music was. Chopin was my suggestion. No, said my husband, it’s got to be Mozart. The minute he said it (swot that he is, but can he tell Take That from Boyzone? – I don’t think so) I realised he was right.
I have had one other such magical musical moment in my life. I was lying by a swimming pool in Kenya watching a series of delicate clouds make their way across a wide blue sky when my husband (who was then my boyfriend) put a walkman on my head (shows how old I am) and said: “Listen to this.” It was Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto. I had never heard anything more beautiful in my life. It was like a seductive yet loving caress slowly working its way over my mind and body. I am sure it contributed to my falling helplessly in love with my husband-to-be.
My father once said to me; “If you have a problem, ask Bach.” He didn’t mean try to gain access to the great man in the land of the dead, he meant listen to his music and your problem will resolve itself. A sort of oratory solvitur ambulando. So if any of you are suffering from the January blues here’s my top tip for the day; listen to Mozart. Listen to him all the time, while you’re washing up, when you’re in the bath, when you’re cooking, as you’re falling asleep. He is the master and after listening to him you can’t help but feel refreshed and restored, even if you’ve had the worst Christmas and New Year in living memory.