Over the last year things have changed in many unexpected ways, including how I think about the holidays. For me, Valentine’s Day now is about embracing love and appreciation in a broader sense, not just the usual roses-and-chocolate romantic celebration. Connectedness and belonging have been most nurtured for me through nature, and many composers have felt the same.
“The Pines of the Janiculum” from Respighi’s Pines of Rome epitomizes the sense of wellbeing I’ve felt in nature this year, especially when the nightingale sings near the end. To me, the birds, trees, plant and animal life all sing of love in a fundamental way.
What song makes your heart sing? Below we share some of your selections and stories from 2020 and look forward to hearing how music has moved your heart this year. ~Marilyn Cooley
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Music of the Heart: Listen Friday, Feb. 12 - Sunday Feb. 14
Hit play to hear listener picks from Valentine's Day 2020 and read their stories and dedications below.
Massenet: Méditation from Thaïs
“My wife, Leto, was a violinist back in Virginia, and she enjoyed listening to and playing this piece. She even played it as I walked our daughter up the aisle at her wedding. My wife passed this November, and I'd like to dedicate this piece in her memory.” ~ John in Lakewood
Debussy: Suite Bergamasque: Clair de Lune
“I’ve loved it since I was a child and I convinced my husband-to-be to have it played at our wedding. That evening my husband presented me with a lovely music box that played, you guessed it, Clair de Lune. We celebrated 51 years together last June and I still play the music box often.” ~ Kathy in Boulder
Bach: Concerto for 2 Violins: II Largo
“The way the two violins intertwine and play together; I think it's a beautiful partnership and very romantic.” ~ Marissa in Peekskill, NY
Pachelbel: Canon in D
“I first heard this piece in the '70s and originally thought it was called ‘Taco Bell Cannon.’ Over the years, it has become music which, when I hear it, I stop everything and just listen. A few years ago, when my son, Ben, was planning his wedding, he asked me to walk him down the path to their outdoor wedding site. We were to go first and then everyone else and then the bride and her father. We did the rehearsal and then the next day, as we made our way through gravel and then onto the grass with all the guests watching, Pachelbel's Canon in D wafted through the air. Ben had no idea what the song meant to me. And now, it has taken on more feelings of the heart.” ~ Darlene from Fort Collins
Gershwin: Porgy and Bess - “Summertime”
“For my daughter. Having a child let me fall in love in a way not usually expressed in song. I used to sing this lullaby to her, meaning every word of comfort.” ~ Jodie in Golden
Puccini: Gianni Schicchi - “O Mio Babbino Caro”
“My mother’s favorite opera love song and every time she heard it she would always cry. And just I recently lost her to cancer, so this is a request for my mother. Love you, Mom.” ~ Chris in Greeley
Smetana: The Moldau
“We were in our early 20’s in 1971 when I had a brief romance with a dental student. Not until he one day turned off the rock n’ roll music and played Smetana’s Moldau did I realize, 'Here might be someone special.' We went our separate ways, always keeping in touch. Last Valentine’s Day he sent me this card, ‘So very happy, all because you’re part of my little world.’” ~ Suzy in Lafayette
Brahms: Piano Quintet: II Andante
“Colleagues of mine from the Littleton Symphony played it at the wedding when I married my beautiful wife Lisa. My oldest brother played the piano part. It has a gentle feel and that trademark autumnal feel Brahms can convey. We like the fall, and got married on a lovely October 1st, 2005, having fallen in love the previous fall.” ~ Drew in Littleton
Rachmaninoff: Symphony #2: III Adagio
“It was really memorable on the first romantic evening I had with the person that’s now my wife for 15 years.” ~ William in Alexandria
Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet Fantasy-Overture: Love Theme
“I think it’s a combination of poignancy and beauty and power that’s matched by very few other pieces.” ~ Michael in Denver
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