I’m still working on my next Lebrain Le-Rocks post, as it is competing with another post I’ve almost completed, so we’ll let this little musing stand for this afternoon’s edification…
We travelled to my lovely wife’s folks’ place yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner. This is always an awesome thing involving much family, food, and fun.
It was a beautiful day, crisp and clear fall air and bright sunshine making the changing tree leaves glow. Plus, our surrounding landscape for the trip is beautiful from start to finish. Perfect day, I thought, for a little bit of classical music for the drive south.
I selected my 2CD set of Herbert Von Karajan called The Legend, a compilation of tracks by varying composers. I was thinking, quite rightly, that this would be a brilliant companion on the drive. Added bonus: classical music is very good for your mind, and I’m all for boosting our kids’ already burgeoning creativites.
Anyway, we got rolling down the highway and I plugged in the first disc. Ah, Ravel’s Boléro. That lilting eastern European melody line, that martial snare drum. A lovely way to drift through the day… Except it wasn’t. The dynamics of the recording are fine, of course, but the quiet bits are really quiet, and the loud bits are just about right for highway driving.
Honestly, my lovely wife’s Subaru is a fantastic car. It handles like a dream, gives great gas mileage, and is as reliable as any car could ever be. But, as it turns out, it has quite a bit of interior cabin noise on the highway, which I’d never noticed before, so we only heard about half of this first track. I turned it up, but as the track built up in volume I had to keep turning it down again. And again. Then back up again for a quiet bit…
Needless to say, by the time the second track, Debussy’s Prélude À L’Après-Midi D’Un Faune rolled around, I was shutting the damn thing off. It was too distracting to have to adjust the volume all the time. My lovely wife’s car on the highway, as it turns out, is built for rock and roll, or anything other than classical that stays within a more narrow, louder range of volume.
Classical did not turn out to be the relaxing, wonderful thing I was hoping would be on this trip. I blame the Subaru, which is otherwise a completely brilliant vehicle. Shame, too, as I was really looking forward to having this set as a soundtrack to our idyllic drive through escarpment beauty.
NB: I’ll be bringing my own Subaru (yes, we own two of them) to Taranna when Mike and I go on our annual record shoppe raid, so we’ll see if it has the same interior noise problem. I don’t recall any such issue at highway speeds, but we’ll find out!
* For those who are interested, I have already covered this Von Karajan set here.