March 12, 2016

Letters Set To Music – A Blog

Sincerely yours image



March 12, 2016

I am moaning over here.

Alas! What ever happened to letter-writing?? Not that there isn’t something elegantly haiku-ish about the perfect tweet. But I don’t know, isn’t that more like grabbing some tasty fast food on a 5 minute lunch break compared with the slow deliciousness of an unhurried meal with someone you love? It’s just a totally different thing.

Letters…just love reading them. Can’t help it, I so love getting inside the veins of another person. 

To that end, I just read the letter that Richard Feynman, the great physicist, wrote to his wife on October 17, 1946, about two years after she died. It was set by one of our composers, John Conahan. This was a letter long in the stewing…delicious time spent with a woman he loved incomparably. When Feynman finished it, having said just what he wanted to say, he sealed it in an envelope and put it away. It was discovered among his papers only after his own death in 1988.

Here is a small part of that letter. (Come hear the rest, and John’s beautiful setting, at the concert.)

…I loved you in so many ways, so much. And now it is clearly even more true — you can give me nothing now, yet I love you so that you stand in my way of loving anyone else — but I want you to stand there. You, dead, are so much better than anyone else alive.”

Now, isn’t it time you wrote that letter you have been thinking of writing?

Sincerely Yours,


P.S. To read the whole letter and a bit about Feynman’s marriage go here:

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