Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Word of the Week

The word for this year’s music is adagio. Both pieces I am playing are slow and incredibly beautiful without the challenges of vivace or even allegro. Adagio fits so well with my current mindset.

This year instead of playing in a quartet as I have the past two years, I am playing two duets – one with Deborah and the other with Ros, a flautist from Philadelphia who has been here the past two years.

There was some doubt as to whether Deborah would even come, since she had serious abdominal surgery at the end of June. But she is here and her kind husband is hauling her bass around for her. She announced that hitting high notes on the bass requires stomach muscles, so as we looked for a piece to play we kept to the lower registers. As we searched our “repertoire”, The Faure Sicilienne seemed just about perfect. Our fingers and minds began to remember it this morning as we practiced.

On my Sunday bike ride I ran into Ros, who said she had brought some music for flute and piano that we could look at. Ironically a piece called “Piece” by Faure caught my eye because it seemed relatively easy. I haven’t yet heard the flute part, but if it is anywhere as beautiful as the piano part, it will be lovely.

With all the music out there, it would seems unlikely that I would be playing two pieces by the same composer. But there is something about Faure that endears me to anything written by him. I think it is his brilliant use of chord progressions and the surprise of going from major to minor and back again.

It’s so nice to have two slow beautiful pieces that will be relaxing to practice with two of my favorite musicians this week. At some point we will get coaching from people who know more than we do, but for now we can just luxuriate in the notes that Faure has given us.


Blogger steve said...

I've done posts and we've talked efore about how certain composers seem to be able to put their finger on your pulse...w/e and my daughters band it was Eric Whitacre that caught me every time.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- You're right. And it can even change as things going on in your life change. Right now Faure matches my mood perfectly.

2:23 PM  
Blogger steve said...

Yeah.... did you ever have a song that you had heard for years all of a sudden just come to life for you? Not just the lyrics either, the whole melody all of a sudden you knew what the artist was doing?

3:45 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Slow pieces sound rather lovely. It's amazing how some music just fits.

4:47 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

(Lovely is apparently the word of the week but your descriptions keep evoking it.)

4:49 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- Happens to me all the times, especially since I don't always pay attention to the lyrics. Sometimes years later I realize what I am hearing and am shocked!

Kristin -- You are so right: slow is lovely and sometimes harder to play than fast. Slow seems to be the operative word right now as I sit here on the porch listening to a very slow steady rain beat a tune on the plants and trees and the passersby that mostly seem to be ignoring it or occasionally sporting a family-size umbrella.

5:52 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Nice that Deborah made it. Does her husband and your David take part too? What do they each play?

7:51 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

I believe in slow.

So glad Deborah is well enough to go to camp!

8:28 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- Deborah's husband attends the lecture series -- this week's focus is on cities. My husband is taking a class in digital photography and another in the short, short story. They come to watch us perform and attend the free concerts, but that is the end of their musical involvement.

Reya -- I am surprised and delighted to have Deborah here this week. She is doing amazingly well for having had major surgery not even 3 weeks ago. I talked her into getting a massage (face up only) to pamper her body for what it's been through.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Ulysses said...

My favorite part about this post is the idea of hanging around with creative people, making it possible to bump in to them on a bike ride and happening to decide to create something together

10:59 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Ulysses -- Yeah, that's pretty much the way it is. There is a lot of talent floating around here just waiting for a conversation.barb7393

7:47 AM  

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