My husband Peter often kidded me about putting words to classical music in preparation for music literature class exams. It’s true—I cannot listen to some of the old “war horses” without those words singing in my head.
On Sadie Hawkins Day in 1968, after dating for almost three years, I asked Peter to marry me. His reply, “I’ll do the asking when I’m ready.”
What has this to do with classical music, you ask? Well, Peter and I often passed by a Mr. Gusil’s jewelry studio. We always paused at the window to look at his beautiful work. And I kept hoping a Mr. Gusils-made engagement ring was in my future.
One day, Peter, making fun of me, sang these words to the opening theme of the fourth movement of Haydn’s 88th Symphony : “I am going to Mr. Gusil’s.” Repeat, over and over.
Eventually, he did go, and both my engagement and wedding rings were made by Mr. Gusil’s. Peter secretly arranged an inscription on my wedding band, a musical staff containing the opening notes of the fourth movement of Haydn’s 88th Symphony.
Yesterday, Boston’s classical radio station played a recording of that symphony. The first notes of the fourth movement brought tears to my eyes.