My grad organ teacher, Craig Cramer, used to say that whenever he performed he “went up against the wall.” I took this to mean that it was an ordeal, a testing, every time. Yesterday, although it was satisfying to perform two pieces by Bach on piano and organ for the prelude and postlude, by the time the postlude was over I was drained more than usual.
It had taken ingenuity to pull the choir together for the performance of the well known “Flocks in Pastures Green Abiding.” The one soprano who had attended Wednesday’s rehearsal came very late. In the meantime, I had tried to pull together a blend between people who hadn’t rehearsed together. It was challenging. I’m afraid in the end the blend wasn’t as good as I can sometimes pull together. But it was passable.
For the prelude, I pulled one of the adult servers aside and told him I was going to play a difficult piano piece for the prelude and it would help me if they didn’t stand near me and talk while I was doing so.
He was amicable and said that they could do that (not stand near me and talk…. I suggested they stand on the other side of the choir area and talk).
So my Bach Art of Fugue 9 had its first airing. It went pretty well I think. After the closing hymn, Jodi the curate complimented me on putting an interlude in between the two stanzas of the closing hymn allowing the entire procession to leave. She had never noticed that I do this sometimes.
My G minor fugue went very well, better than the Art of Fugue 9. Later at the Curragh (local watering hole and restaurant), some people who had been visitors at the morning service complimented me on our music and said they especially liked the postlude. Will wonders never cease?
I pulled out my Pischna this morning.
This is a piano finger technique book my teacher gave me. His notes are still written in it. It was refreshing to review them this morning. I think I’m interested in reigniting my technique via scales and exercises both on the piano and the organ.
For organ, I find it helpful to use the Bach D major as sort of a technical exercise. It begins with a full D major scale in the pedal. Then there are many pedal solos to practice. I like doing the whole piece to practice technique.
So I’m tired but satisfied this morning. I put on Glenn Gould last night to sip my martini by. I was amused to find that he has recorded the Art of Fugue 9 on the organ.
As far as I can tell he does not do the main subject in the pedals but he does use the pedals for the long theme. I hadn’t thought of doing that. My organ arrangement has the quick them in the pedals. This is doable I guess but I wouldn’t be able to do too fast unless it was the only thing I practiced for a month.
I like these profiles where they say what people are reading and keep track. Jill Twiss turned me on to two new things:
Eileen and I are probably coming late to both of these. “Unbreakable Kimmie Schmidt” is hilarious. The “Undisclosed Podcast” is a good fix for those of us who miss Serial’s treatment of this ongoing story.
thank you, Jill Twiss.
We can’t vote because the ruling class doesn’t want us to. it’s not just Republicans. Welcome to the citizenlesss democracy!
Fascinating bit of history breaks into the present.
Mutually Assured Destruction lives! With smaller arms.