[Lee In-hyun] Music for spring
Published : May 2, 2022 - 05:31
Updated : May 2, 2022 - 05:31
When I was young, my mother used to take me for a drive in the mountains during spring.

We enjoyed looking at the flowers. The frozen land during winter has resurfaced with a scene of spring surrounded by trees and flowers. The change from winter to spring was truly beautiful. When she took a drive with me, we always listened to songs related to spring. Mother and I especially enjoyed “Spring” by Vivaldi. We talked a lot about flowers, trees and scenery of spring while listening to the music. Whenever I listen it, I often draw memories about my mom. In this article, I recommend some music related to spring.

First up is of course, “Spring” by Vivaldi. This song is so popular that even those who do not know classical music know it. Vivaldi tried to show a similar sound of nature through music and to express freshness and beauty. This music depicts a variety of sounds of animals and flowers: singing birds, barking dogs and flowing creeks. Also, Vivaldi drafted a sonnet about spring. When I listen to the song, I close my eyes. I feel like my body and mind are waking up. Because this song was composed in the early years, its structure is very organized and simple so many listeners will not have difficulty understanding it. This is why various places like hotel lobbies or fancy restaurants use this music. If you have a chance, take a listen with your eyes closed. Focus on the music, and imagine you are in the middle of a forest. You will definitely get re-energized without any doubt.

The second song is “Spring” by Beethoven. It is also well known by the general public. It is not Beethoven’s title. Someone named the music for him after his death. This music also expresses the scenery of spring like Vivaldi’s piece. Beethoven’s music was composed for violin while Vivaldi’s music was composed for string ensemble. Beethoven’s Spring is more brilliant and passionate because of its concentration on violin instead of multiple instruments. The appearance of spring, expressed only with the sound of violin, seems more refreshing and carries charm. If you want to feel energetic spring, I highly recommend this piece by Beethoven.

Third music is “Spring (Printemps)” by Debussy. When he composed this piece, his interest was in color. He wanted to show the very special color that touches on a great range of feelings. In fact, what he wanted to pursue was not the image of spring, but a human one. Debussy once said, “I should like to express the slow and labored birth of beings and things in nature, their gradual blossoming, and finally the joy of being born into some new life.” I have never been to France in the spring, only during summer, but listening to this music is reminiscent of southern France and the hill of Montmartre in Paris. It is not flashy, but the soft and gentle melody tells of a warm spring rather than a lively spring. Also, Debussy’s unique French sensibility exudes from the music. In a situation where travel is difficult due to COVID-19, I hope you can feel the spring of France indirectly through this song.

The last piece is “Spring” by Piazzolla. Vivaldi’s “Spring” had a great influence on many composers. Piazzolla was one of them. He was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneon player. His Spring is more jazzy and more dynamic. Listening to his music does not remind me of the sounds of nature and fresh scenery, but rather of a more dynamic and lively atmosphere. The music shows that winter is coming to an end and spring is beginning. I have not been to Argentina, but listening to this song, spring there seems to be more passionate like the country’s best-known music, tango.

As it is a difficult time to enjoy spring comfortably due to the pandemic, please do enjoy it by exploring the music mentioned above. Hello, spring!

Lee In-hyun
Lee In-hyun is a classical pianist and author of the award-winning book “The Classic Class,” published in January 2021. She works both in Korea and the United States. She currently resides in Los Angeles. -- Ed.

By Korea Herald (khnews@heraldcorp.com)