Notes to self: for classical music lovers, pieces to take you away
From the Danube to the Nile, this music can transport you all over the planet for a mini-break of memories
As the Austrian Airlines Airbus enters its final descent into Vienna International Airport, the public address system bursts into life, filling the plane with the strains of Strauss’s Blue Danube waltz. Immediately I think of the golden interior of the Musikverein concert hall, glittering chandeliers, a hundred couples waltzing in perfect synchronicity.
As its landing music Czech Airlines uses a movement from Smetana’s Ma Vlast depicting the fast-flowing River Vltava passing under the ancient Charles Bridge. Historically, the American carrier United used Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue when on approach to New York; several Gulf airlines have commissioned contemporary works featuring ouds, neys and other Arab instruments to welcome passengers to their final destination.
But it may be a while before we are able to board a plane again. So I’ve resorted to travelling through my memories, using music to take me back to a particular place or event...