Peter’s Birthday

Haydn’s Symphony #88

Several bars from Haydn's 88th Symphony are engraved on the inside of my wedding band. There's no "to my darling on our wedding day," no set of our initials, no date of our marriage. Just the first several bars of the last movement of Haydn's 88th symphony.

When we were dating, Peter had found it amusing that I learned to identify pieces of music for exams in music classes by putting words to the tunes. "Eat pretzels, drink beer cause Haydn is here" comes to mind as does "Mozart's in the closet—let him out, let him out, let him out".

So when we were contemplating getting engaged, (actually I was contemplating it more than he was) we put some words to the theme of the last movement of Haydn's 88th symphony. "I am going to Mr. Gusil's, I am going to Mr. Gusil's," Mr. Gusil being a jewelry designer whose shop we frequently passed and who I hoped would be the supplier of an engagement ring, sooner or later.

We did, of course, get engaged and the engagement ring which was a complete surprise came from Mr. Gusil's. But it was only on our wedding day that I found out about the engraved music inside the wedding ring.

Last night, almost 40 years later, we attended a concert of the Handel and Haydn Society. The program included Haydn's 88th Symphony. I don't think we had ever heard it live before. When the theme of the fourth movement filled the hall, I grabbed Peter's hand, and my eyes filled with tears.

They were playing our song.



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