Sunday, December 23, 2007

On Becoming a Trio

For the past 2 years Deborah and I have searched for music for piano and double bass. We have become so familiar with each other’s musical habits that we almost think as one. But today we invited Stuart to play with us and luxuriated in the high notes of his flute.

Stuart is a soft-spoken tenor in my synagogue choir. In his working life he manages stock portfolios. Who would have ever thought he could also play a half dozen instruments?

He had been after me to play the Claude Bolling Suite for some time now, but we just never seemed to get around to it. He was recently bemoaning the fact that he really wanted to play one movement from it in his son’s school talent show, but he hadn’t been able to find people to play the other parts.

So I invited Stuart to join us this morning for our weekly time to play together. I had no idea how well he played. He introduced himself by saying he hadn’t picked up the flute in a year. But as we launched into the slow jazzy Irlandaise, I realized just how good he was. The flute soared at the end. We liked it so much we did it again.

Then we moved on to play some Telemann – sonatas, partitas, arias. Stuart never missed a beat. If there was a weak link, I was it as we sight-read page after page of music. I lamented the fact that I had to play with both hands, reading multiple notes at a time instead of just one as each of them did. They didn’t cut me any slack, letting me know their hands were all occupied as well!

We finally got played out and decided to quit for today. But not before we scheduled the next time to get together. Hopefully the next time will also include an oboe, making us a full-fledged quartet.

It’s a good thing I have all this time to practice because I have a whole lot going on musically right now!


Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Wow! You are so lucky to be a part of this type of thing! (To be talented enought to even be able to pull it off!) The oboe will sound great!
You'll be doing 'gigs" soon, Barbara!

Our cantata went well today in church....we nailed it the best we had ever! It's such beautiful music this time of year.

6:09 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MOI -- No gigs, just a lot of fun! There is a certain richness that additional instruments add.

I'm glad to hear the cantata went well. Which one did you do? Christmas music is the best ever!

9:17 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Sounds like you have a whole lot going on everywhere these days, not just musically.

12:32 AM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Excellent! In 2008, may it become a quartet!

8:24 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I really like being busy! Otherwise I would probably just sit around feeling old.

Reya -- I've always wanted to be in a quartet! It will happen in 2008.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Pauline said...

making music together -sounds like one of life's greatest pleasures.

Happy Christmas to you!

11:21 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Pauline -- There is something quite fulfilling about being a part of any team -- a relay team, a duplicate bridge partnership, a quartet -- that makes you value the part you play in making it work!

11:37 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

How is the new piano working out?

4:47 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Richard -- The new piano is truly a dream come true! I play it hours every day.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Any chance of hearing you play? Blogger now allows video uploads. I wish they would allow plain audio upoads too.

9:04 PM  

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