As a young mother, I anticipated laundry day like a little vacation. After my husband and our three girls walked out the side door for work and school, I heaved a sigh and finished breakfast dishes in silence–listened to that still, small voice.
I ran up and down two flights of stairs cleaning house and spinning laundry from baskets to washer to dryer to baskets.
If you’re a young mother, or once were, you know the drill.
After lunch I sat on the sofa in our knotty pine basement and folded towels and washcloths, underwear and socks, dishcloths, sports uniforms, linens from four beds, etc.
If my dinner menu didn’t distract me–or a daughter’s orthodontist appointment, or various interruptions a household of five people and three ducks present on any given day–I might catch Bill Kennedy’s Showtime while folding clothes in the afternoon.
But my visit with Metro Detroit’s beloved curmudgeon suffered a downside. Seldom could I sit through the movie’s end due to carpool pickup.
However, one laundry day I found myself freed from the duty when I tuned in to Bill Kennedy’s theme song, Just in Time.
From the first five minutes of I’ve Always Loved You (1946), the cast and music composed by twelve classical masters wove a love story with potent psychological drama.
Myra, the lead female character, believes she loves her tyrannical and womanizing maestro, Leopold Goronoff. Before an audience in Carnegie Hall, he deliberately destroys her career upon her debut while she performs Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor.
Does she overcome this betrayal?
Other than bits of Beethoven and Mozart, my knowledge of symphonic orchestration lay limited in my father’s favorite album, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
Of the Beach Boys, Lettermen, Righteous Brothers, Beatles, and Motown era, I’d never heard music speak from such depths of despair, hope, and triumph as in Rachmaninoff’s piano concerto. And without one word.
Composed in 1901, Rachmaninoff wrote his most famous symphony in recovery from depression after his Piano Concerto No. 1 received brutal reviews opening night. In 1917, Rachmaninoff and his family fled Russia’s Revolution to America’s freedom.
With this in mind, I better understand the romantic and redemptive voices within Rachmaninoff’s second concerto. I perceive a link between the day folding clothes in my basement to my recent return to the music and movie I’ve Always Loved You.
As Rachmaninoff recovered from despair, Myra mends from Goronoff’s merciless offense. Decades later, in her return to Carnegie Hall’s piano, Myra sees through the maestro’s ego to the man who always loved her and trusted in her love.
Dear Reader, this past February my husband and I met our youngest daughter in downtown Detroit for dinner. Afterward, we walked to Orchestra Hall on Woodward Avenue and found our seats in the fourth row for Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concert No. 2.
There, pianist Simon Trpceski from Macedonia spanned his fingers over the keys. Just in time, he reminded me failure and betrayal are not fatal.
God has always loved us. Just listen to Rachmaninoff.
Contact Iris at firstname.lastname@example.org.