Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ashokan Farewell

The theme song from Ken Burns' documentary "The Civil War" - the highest-rated public television broadcast of all time. Somehow this fact is really very heartening to me in a way - as if this huge national tragedy somehow brought the nation together, for once, a hundred years later. "Ashokan Farewell" is a waltz - and one of the most beautiful, and most poignant, pieces of music I think I've ever heard. The last verse is so lovely, as the crescendo of soaring harmonies drops away again to a single, sad violin and that last arpeggio.

A waltz, of all things, to help tell the story of the bloodiest 5 years in our nation's history. It all makes me want to cry - which is I think actually a good thing.

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