I know it’s been a while. A lots been going on with me. My cat is now functionally blind. He’s been like this since Monday. I need some time off, but feel duty bound to care for this animal in person at this stage.
My boss has told me I can take two Sundays off in June. My brother and his wife have consented for us to visit them a bit. However, I think I want to see how Edison (the cat) adapts to his new condition. He is eating well and purrs at me every morning when I pick him up. Eileen says it’s a bit lie having a roomba for a cat.
I finished Kindred by Octavia E. Butler. I thought it was better than the “Sower” series which I liked. Her Lilith’s Brood came in at Readers World and I have already started reading it.
For some reason I have a real jones for Haydn right now. I am reading the Groves Dictionary article to refresh my memory about him.
Franz Joseph (Guiseppi) Haydn
I have been listening to symphonies and string quarters and piano trios by him.
Speaking of piano trios and being overwhelmed. My piano trio rehearsed for this upcoming Pentecost Sunday yesterday. My boss decided to pretty much do a full Eucharist out of doors this week. She and I put our heads together on Wednesday and I madly prepped for my trio (hymns, service music). We had scheduled two Mozart Church sonatas with me playing the second violin part with my right hand on the organ and the right hand of the keyboard with my left hand on the organ. That’s how we have been rehearsing it.
Now, since we are outside, we will do it with me on piano covering these parts. This is more different than you might think. But yesterday’s rehearsal went fine.
Except at the end of an hour, I asked if my cohorts would want to run through the two movements of the Haydn piano trio before they left. Not so much. I don’t understand this because the music is as good as anything we have done. But maybe that’s my Haydn jones coming through.
I was gratified to see my Notre Dame prof, Ethan Haimo, in the bibliography of the Grover article on Haydn.
I have picked up his book on Haydn again and am working my way carefully through it. It helps that all these scores are now online. The title is Haydn’s Symphonic Forms: Essays on Compositional Logic. It is brilliant. I took a course from him on Hadyn in grad school. I came away with a new appreciation of Haydn.
I googled Haimo and discovered he is living in Israel and teaching there. He impressed me at Notre Dame. He was a bit of an outlier being a pretty devout Jew and a quiet, brilliant guy. I keep thinking I will email him and let him know that at least of his students is still trying to understand Haydn.
Today’s project is to bibliography the twelve books I have interlibrary loaned. They are mostly, but not all, related to my Greek studies.
Eileen and I have been eating outdoors. The weather has been lovely. Last evening it took a turn for the warmer. We ended up putting on the air conditioning for the night. This morning we sat outside again and had breakfast. Eileen has the yard fixed up beautifully and there are Cardinals and other birds around. Very idyllic.
I continue to read poetry regularly. Also Shakespeare. Charles Burney, the great music historian, compared Haydn to Shakespeare. This is from the Online Groves:
Never, perhaps, was there a richer musical treat. It is not wonderful that to souls capable of being touched by music, HAYDN should be an object of homage, and even of idolatry; for like our own SHAKSPEARE he moves and governs the passions at will. Charles Burney, 11 March 1791
I recently started another volume of Mary Karr’s poetry, Abacus. I really click with the way she uses language and images. I especially liked a poem called “Courage,” which begins
“This much is clear. You have to be alone
with your grief….
and then later:
“The songs will make it worse. You have
to be alone. Someone you loved is gone,
not dead, but step by step away from you
on purpose, no accident….
The dang thing doesn’t seem to be online or I would link it in. Well, enough. Time to go bibliograph some books and return them to the library.