For this week's Sunday Shelf, Sarah gets emotional and talks about her love for classical music. Sarah started taking piano lessons at five years old and would continue to play into her last year of high school. She would have rather learned jazz and musicals but with her strict New Yorker piano instructor, classical was the foundation for everything. She quickly grew to love Vivaldi and Chopin, and definitely Beethoven. In fact her senior history thesis incorporated 19th century Romantic Era classical music into her arguement.
The Story Orchestra is a new series published by Quarto Press, a publishing house based in London. The first in the series begins with Four Season in a Day featuring music by Vivaldi. The Nutcracker (a Christmas favorite during Sarah's childhood) is accompanied with Pyotr Tchaikovsky's famous holiday piece. Don't even ask Sarah which movement is her favorite because there's so many beautiful sections of the masterpiece. What Sarah loves most about this new series is that it's a great primer for children to be introduced to Classical music. Less and less kids are taking music lessons and soon, the classics will be forgotten. But Sarah is hopeful that the younger generations will still appreciate musicians like Chopin, (he's actually Sarah's favorite pianist).
The adult book Sarah discussed may have made her tear up. The Opposite of Loneliness is a collection of essays by Marina Keegan - a young, bright and ambitious writer who had a job lined up at the New Yorker. Keegan graduated magnum cum laude from Yale but died five days after her graduation. A promising future, Keegan's life was cut way too short. Her essays capture the hope and uncertainty every college student goes through. She articulates the "universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world." The book's impact on Sarah was monumental, Marina was the voice of her generation, everything felt so personal. Everyone has a book in their life that just speaks to everything that you feel, this was that book for Sarah.
If you're into commencement speeches here are a few that Sarah can never part with.