Perhaps we need art because, at times, it makes us cry.
I cried when I first saw a replica of this sculpture in Brooklyn's Green-wood Cemetery. The original sculpture, by William Wetmore Story, is called Angel of Grief. An angel crying, grieving for a mortal's soul. A beautiful, heart-wrenching image.
Certain pieces of music, like the slow movement of Beethoven's "Emperor" piano concerto (No. 5), make me weep. Ken Burns used this piece in his Frank Lloyd Wright documentary (Wright admired Beethoven as a great architect of musical structures.) I cried then, too.
Yesterday we saw "The King's Speech," which featured the Emperor Concerto (slow movement) as a backdrop for the dramatic ending. I cried. I loved it. I hope this film wins every Oscar imaginable, including cruciverbal kudos for casting EVE Best (the glitzy doctor in "Nurse Jackie") as Mrs. Wallis Simpson. Brilliant.
Members of the Academy: if Helena Bonham Carter (extraordinary as the young "Queen Mum") doesn't win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress . . . and . . . if the film doesn't win for best musical soundtrack . . . I shall cry.
Here's the slow movement of the Emperor Concerto -- Lenny Bernstein and Krystian Zimerman do their magic: