Poor Eileen. I read her several pages from David Foster Wallace’s essay, “Authority and American Usage” last night. It’s in his collection Consider the Lobster. Wallace makes a convincing argument against Politically Correct English (PCE). Essentially the use of more acceptable euphemisms can too easily replace actually trying to change things in our society. Or as he puts succinctly in one of his footnotes: being polite is not the same as being fair. Since Wallace’s clever and imaginative prose requires a more sustained attention span than most readers have these days, i will refrain from quoting him. However, here, once again, is a link to the pdf of the very essay I am reading. I encourage you to put aside some time and read this piece. The section on PCE begins on p. 110 (p. 23 of this pdf).
I am continuing to ease back into immersing myself in music. Yesterday I spent time with Faure’s piano Barcarolles, the last movement of Beethoven’s 2nd symphony (Liszt’s piano transcription), and a couple of Bach’s settings of : Allein Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehr’ on the organ. I also chose organ music for the next two Sundays. More on that in a bit.
This morning I discovered that my podcast app on my tablet will play radio stations. Ironically the U of M radio station on it plays soooooo much more easily than their stupid stupid app which continually stops playing. There were also music stations dedicated exclusively to classical music. I spent my morning Greek and reading time listening to a Classical guitar radio station (link to it’s web site).
Then I spent time with Bach’s WTC volume II, carefully playing through a few preludes and fugues. Ahhhhh.
I feel so lucky to be able to do all this stuff. My life is good.
For my prelude Sunday I am planning on playing three little pieces on the Sequence Hymn which will be “Blest are the pure in heart” (Franconia). I found a nice little piece by Richard Hillert. I have met him. I showed him some of my compositions. He was mildly encouraging. I’m also planning two little settings by Gerhard Krapf on this tune. The problem is Krapf wrote his settings in the key of Eb major. Hillert and the Hymnal 1982 have this tune in D major. So I came home and put Krapf into Finale. Now I have three little movements in the same key. Woo hoo.
The postlude will be a piece called “Fantastic Galliard” by William Byrd. I found it in an old disreputable Kalmus edition of music called “The Byrd Organ Book.”
It’s most probably NOT an organ piece, but I think it’s charming. Byrd is roughly a contemporary of Adrian Battan who wrote our lovely anthem for Sunday.
A week from Sunday I am planning to use movements of a partita by Jan Bender for both the prelude and the postlude. It is based on the tune, Jesus meine Zuversichte. We will be singing a hymn to this melody as our second communion hymn. Bender has written a wonderful set of variations on it.
I am still exhausted today, but not quite as much as yesterday. Tomorrow I have my annual six month check up.
I can’t believe this stuff.