I am finally completing my challenge, ten albums that have had an impact on my life. This last one is really symbolic of me. It is the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s rock opera, “Beethoven’s Last Night.” Commercially it did not get a lot of attention, but rather, those who followed the band, not only bought the album, but made sure that they got to see the live performance. I may have heard one radio station play one song from the album, “Requiem,” which was a hard rock arrangement of Beethoven’s 5th symphony.
As I mentioned, “Beethoven’s Last Night” is a rock opera. The story takes place as Beethoven has completed his 10th symphony, which of course in reality that never happened. Upon completion, the devil appears, ready to claim Beethoven’s soul. Of course Beethoven is not ready to die, and makes a deal with the devil, in exchange for his 10th symphony, he will spare his life. Trickery is involved, spoiler alert, Beethoven lives.
Like I said, this album is symbolic for me. Sure, I enjoy most all genres of music, and TSO tastefully arranges and mixes classical music with a hard rock element. but this album is about not being ready to die and what someone must go through to not have that happen.
I have mentioned it here on “Paul’s Heart”, and it often comes up in my circle, that I often feel as though I perhaps may have been a cat in a prior life, in that, having “nine lives.” I joke that I only hope it was a strong cat like a tiger or lion. The medical issues that I have experienced in my life, I refer to as my dances with the devil. I say this, because the results of each, could have led to my death. By my count, I am currently up to six. Cancer, two heart surgeries, two bouts of septic pneumonia, and one major car collision. My theory of feline ancestry would dictate that I then have three more left.
So as you can see, like Beethoven, I am not ready by any means to die. There are many things that I am still looking forward to, especially with my two daughters, from graduations to possibly marriage and grandchildren.
Music has always been in my life, and has had a purpose whether it was for healing, relaxing, recovering, fighting, or just enjoying. I am blessed that I can do this in many forms, playing (guitar and piano), sing, write, or just listen. Of the many influences that I have on my children, music is one that I wanted to make sure that they had an appreciation for. I have several memories of each daughter whether it was a school performance, singing along to the car radio, or me singing them a lullaby at night.
In my darkest of days, music has always been there for me, providing the needed comfort and support to get me through each time. Music heals us spiritually as well as physically. Music reminds us of our past and the many things we have gotten through, giving us strength at times we feel that we have none. With music, we just keep going.
And that is why this album means so much to me. But yes, the mix of classical music and hard rock, it is definitely one of my favorite albums also.