This weekend was a culmination for me of several weeks of preparing to play Mozart’s Fantasia in F, K. 594. I performed it as the requested recessional at Saturday’s wedding and as Prelude and Postlude for Sunday’s Eucharist. My careful and diligent preparation paid off. I had one funny moment at the wedding performance when I suddenly changed the pedaling in the most difficult section. Despite this, I managed to play the correct notes with the wrong pedaling. I continue to learn about my own performance habits and how to prepare.
Sunday, however, I “nailed” it. There were four local professionally skilled musicians in attendance that morning (any given service has multiple musicians present at my church). They all quickly left during the postlude. This is kind of vindicating because it really was a good performance of a good piece. So it’s hard to take such action personally. I can’t fathom their lack of interest in the music. If the situations were reversed and I was present at a performance by any of the them, I would be very interested.
Who knows why people do what they do? I miss my regular listener, Joy Huttar, who died recently. I know it’s a bit selfish but I miss her intelligent listening and comments and appreciation.
But despite this little glitch of what seemed like inattention, I was elated by my performance and enjoyed learning this piece. My only regret is that I’m not sure it’s one I can keep in my repertoire without constantly practicing the difficult pedal sections.
The Conversion of Paul Jenkins
As promised here’s Dad’s conversion story. I know this probably has limited appeal to some readers. But I have been thinking a great deal about the entire concept of conversion and being “saved.” How did it come about? How did its origins in the 18th century in the United Kingdom and America influence the religion of my childhood?
Dad wrote an article about his experience which tells it in a bit of a folksy voice. Here’s the link to a PDF of his article:
Some Deer Hunt! by Paul Jenkins
A Brief Pause
A young woman who has lymphoma cancer is keeping an online journal of the experience. I have known her since her childhood.
Reflections — Aaron Goodyke
I keep lists in Facebooger and Twitter. Yesterday with tornadoes predicted I checked my Twitter list which I call “Local Yokels.” That means it’s people in the vicinity who tweet. I didn’t find much new info on the storm (which actually petered out), but I did run across the creation of a new blog by a local organ student.
Bach’s Tempo Ordinario: A Plaine and Easie Introduction to the System Robert Marshall PDF
I have been thinking about tempo in Baroque music. Yesterday I poked around and found this 2008 article. It was cited by Peter Williams. It’s not quite the info I was looking for but it’s worth reading.
Gunther Schuller, Composer Who Synthesized Classical and Jazz, Dies at 89 –
I was interested to read that local yokel, Greg Cowell, knew Schuller. I have several of Schuller’s books (the ones on Jazz) and he has been someone who has interested me.
Saddened to hear of the death of Gunther Schuller. He was president of The New England Conservatory when I was an undergraduate student there. I still remember being called into his luxurious and imposing office one day, not because I was in trouble, but because he wanted to talk to me. The first time I heard the opera Wozzeck was in a concert performance in Jordan Hall under his baton and featuring NEC alumni in the main roles. I have loved that music passionately ever since, and I have never heard it better conducted. He was also an important composer who wrote some stunning (and very difficult) organ music. A master has died.
Who Owns Your Overtime? – The New York Times
An adjustment in the Fair Labor Standards act provides an opportunity to think about how we work in the USA.
White Supremacists Without Borders by Morris Dees and J. Richard Cohen – The New York Times
These guys are high mucky mucks of the Southern Poverty Law Center. I have long been a fan of Dees and the work of the SPLC. Good article.
Allen Weinstein, Historian of Alger Hiss Case, Dies at 77 – The New York Times
The Hiss/Chambers story has fascinated me for years. I have read both Chambers’ and Hiss’ account plus other books and articles. It looks like Hiss did work for the communists.
To Soften Image, Brazilian Police Ride In Atop Horned Beasts – The New York Tim
Water buffaloes. Very cool.
The Paradise of the Library – The New Yorker
Article by James Salter who died recently. Haven’t read yet, but the opening sentence mentions Anthony Burgess. That’s enough for me to check it out later.
James Salter, a ‘Writer’s Writer’ Short on Sales but Long on Acclaim, Dies at 90 –
Here’s a link to his obit.