Up and playing through late Haydn piano sonatas. They satisfy the way his best symphonies do. In their 20001 Groves entry, James Feder and James Webster write: ” In the 20th century he was understood primarily as an ‘absolute’ musician (exhibiting wit, originality of form, motivic saturation and a ‘modernist’ tendency to problematize music rather than merely to compose it), but earnestness, depth of feeling and referential tendencies are equally important to his art.”
“Wit, originality of form, motivic saturation” and tendency to “problematize music” aptly describes much of what continues to attract me to Haydn. I think I hear his music through the understandings I pointed to by Ethan Haimo (whose book is satisfyingly in the bibliography to the Groves article).
I decided to learn and perform two cool pieces for this Sunday, feeling a bit goofy about improvising last week. My chagrin comes from being able to perform on such a wonderful instrument. It not only teaches me daily more about playing the organ, it inspires me to play some of the great literature on it.
So next Sunday, Buxtehude! Yay! I was playing through my Dover edition of Buxtehude and wondering why I kept adding trills that were not notated. Yesterday I pulled out my old Kalmus edition and discovered that Ray Ferguson had taught me several Buxtehude Praeludium and had written in the trills. This is BuxWV 137, the C Major Prelude, Fugue, and Chaconne. It displays the beauty of the Pasi quite nicely beginning with a pedal solo. Fun stuff.
I paired this with a very clever setting by Richard Proulx of the melody to our opening hymn, LEONI. The piece is a neo baroque treatment of this melody and goes so far as to change it a bit just the way a baroque composer felt free to change a note here or there in a chorale he was setting.
These pieces will not require hours and hours of prep, but they will be fun to study and perform.
Now for some videos and pics from Sarah.
This was the last recital at church. I am obviously having fun. And here are Alex and Lucy having fun.
More stills from the recital.
And more pics from the visit.
A good time was had by all.