I’m sitting here listening to Mozart’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in C Major.
Now, lest you think I’m trying to act all cultured or something, I only know this because it’s written on the TV screen right in front of me. The fact of the matter is that I know almost as much about classical music as a cow knows about quantum physics.
However, Jack the dog digs classical. It calms him down. Anyone who has ever lived with a Jack Russell terrier realizes that discovering a calming influence is a mandatory part of life. If not for Mozart, Haydn and the works of countless other composers Jack would be bringing me his ball every 15 seconds. He would break from fetching only to bark frantically for a Milk Bone or start a wrestling match with Hugo, my young basset/Aussie cross.
Of course, we wouldn’t need the instrumental sedative (at least not as often) if it weren’t 105 degrees outside. Today’s a cool day, relatively speaking, as last week the digital mercury weighed in at 110 on several different occasions. Jack doesn’t do hot, not for more than a few minutes. I don’t either. About the only time I’ve ventured out of late is to water my newly planted apple trees, the ones that are wondering why the hell I planted them in the Gobi desert.
Jack doesn’t believe in global warming in the least; he does not believe the recent atmospheric hellfire results from ozone holes or aerosol cans or giant leprechauns with a big ol’ magnifying glass. We share the same views on the topic and have discussed them often. Our considered decision is that this streak of blazing nonsense stems from the fact that – to put it in scientific terms – it’s summer and the sun is hot.
We are now enjoying Sinfonia in E Flat Major by Frantisek Xaver Dussek. Jack’s getting a bit ancy, whining and giving me a truly pathetic look. He’s definitely not a fan of the lesser lights of the classical genre. My dog has good taste.
I’ve learned two things from this murderous spell of the hots. First, is that classical tunesmiths of a few centuries back had absolutely no talent when it came to naming their creations. I mean, Sinfonia in E Flat Major just doesn’t have the same ring to it as Crossroad Blues or Sympathy for the Devil. We should all be thankful that some of the literary giants didn’t suffer from the same apathy as Mozart, Dussek and company. I mean, Shakespeare just wouldn’t feel right if the name of the play was Two Kids Who Want To Get Hitched But Their Folks Are Jerks So They Kill Themselves.
Lesson number two. Music does soothe the savage beast, but only to a point and only for a limited time. Jack is now standing with his front feet on my chair, ball in mouth, ordering me to entertain him. I will comply with all due haste. I know who runs this house . . . and it ain’t me.
Mozart . . . you have failed me. It's time for some blues.