A reader writes:
THANK YOU for today's Mental Health Break! I'm sitting here grinning ear-to-ear, and the reason why is a little complicated.
I first came to know the music - the Adagio from Aram Khachaturian's ballet "Spartacus" - as a freshman in my high school's competitive marching band. I'm not kidding: while I was in high school, we also "marched" music by Igor Stravinsky and Charles freaking Ives. Anyway, my older sister, with whom I am very close, was a senior in the band when I was a freshman; this was the only time we were in a field show together. At 14, it was the most beautiful music I'd ever heard, and probably had a lot to do with why I ended up becoming a professional classical musician.
I encountered it again a few years later in the Coen brothers' wonderful (and underrated) film The Hudsucker Proxy, but until today I hadn't heard it for almost 8 years. It instantly brought me back to the place of youthful awe and wonderment in which I first heard it, and that, to me, is the best Mental Health Break of them all.
(It doesn't hurt that the film is also gorgeous!)