Winter Songs: Young Love In Ithaca, With Schumann's Help | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Winter Songs: Young Love In Ithaca, With Schumann's Help

Play associated audio

All Things Considered has been asking listeners for their memories of winter musical moments. Tuesday's story stretches back to the winter of 1958, when Alice Swersey was a freshman at Ithaca College.

"I was dating a guy from up the hill, from Cornell," she says. "On my birthday, Dec. 2, I received at my dorm a dozen sweetheart roses and an album of Rudolf Serkin and the Philadelphia Orchestra playing Schumann's Piano Concerto — which I was totally in love with. And I think I'd casually mentioned that to my date a few weeks before."

Her date was her now-husband, Burt Swersey, who says he'd taken careful note of the remark.

"I think I remembered everything about Alice at that time," he says. "I was just smitten with her, so whatever she told me, I think I remembered very well."

"A piano concerto is a conversation between a soloist and the orchestra, and this is just the most romantic piece," Alice says. "There's something about Schumann, the emotion that he conveys. ... It's very lush, with swelling passages and then the most delicate little piano responses."

Burt says he and Alice had only been dating for a few months when he sent her the record — but that it expressed something he'd known from the moment they met.

"The first time I saw her, my heart really skipped a beat. She bounded down the stairs with her ponytail swinging, and with her little skirt and little sweater and so on, and I just took a deep breath," he says. "I had to find some magic to capture this incredible young woman. I guess it worked."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

The Colorful, Blossoming D.C. Arts Scene In The 1950s, '60s

In 1965 the work of six local painters went on exhibit at the now-defunct Washington Gallery of Modern Art. The show launched a movement, and the painters' work now hangs in major museums. One of those artists, now 97, lives in Arlington, Va.
NPR

Cash For Halloween Candy? Dentists' Buyback Program Is Booming

If you're like many parents, by tomorrow morning you'll be facing a candy glut. One possible solution? Sell it to a dentist participating in a program that sends candy care packages to troops.
NPR

For This Colorado Voter, Oil And Gas Debate Plays Out On His Property

Knocking on doors in Colorado, Steve Inskeep asks Antionio Covello about the election. The successful Denver business owner, a conservative, weighs mineral rights, foreign policy and division at home.
NPR

Selfies With Bears Prompt Warning From Park Rangers

Selfies with bears are showing up on Instagram. Rangers in South Lake Tahoe have been sufficiently worried to issue a warning: Wild bears are unpredictable, and could attack. #bearselfie

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.