more string quartet comments, keeping churchiness at bay


Hey! Those were the guys Alex Ross liked

On Oct 22nd of this year, I embedded  a video of a string quartet in my blog entry. “greek study, books, music and a movie.” I didn’t realize that this group was coming to Holland to perform. I didn’t even recognize them when I went and heard them. I noticed that they had some of the attributes I admired in the Alex Ross recommended quartet. Things like enthusiasm and convincing passionate playing.

I like that  Geoff Nuttall said that the quartet had grown to deeply love Haydn’s string quartets and were confused that other students and musicians they knew did not share their enthusiasm. I like that he described this as one of the reasons for the quartet’s unpacking Haydn deliberately in a section of the concert they called “Haydn Discovery.”

As I said yesterday I found this attempt inspiring.

As I was studying the material the quartet played on Saturday night, I made another interesting discovery. There is a bit of an intellectual rhyme in programming both the last movements of Haydn’s Op. 33 No. 2 and Beethoven’s Op. 135. The Haydn ends as it begins, literally. The Beethoven asks a question at the beginning which is answered at the end.

Image result for "Muß es sein?" (Must it be?

Muss es sein?(Must it be?), Es muss sein (It must be!). The whole movement is headed “Der schwer gefaßte Entschluß” (“The Difficult Decision”).

I discovered that I have a piano four hand arrangement of this quartet.

Image result for beethoven string quartets four hands

Plus there is a piano transcription sitting online.  When I went to add this to my tablet’s sheet music reader, I discovered I had already downloaded it. Similarly when I looked at my string quartet score of this, my notes are all over it. I guess I’ve thought about this quartet before, eh?

keeping churchiness at bay

The congregation was buzzing as we began church yesterday. The energy belied the underlying anxiety, fear and disappointment of many of our members. I was still ill. I noticed one of our Republican members sneaking in late to service.

I try to not let church into my soul where the music is. This worked for me yesterday. I played a good service with a lot of interesting improv. Since we are doing my so called Jazz Mass as service music, I feel like we know it well enough that I can improvise my accompaniment. I did a lot of that yesterday as well as other improvised moments. I like th spontaneous stuff.

My boss preached a good sermon, but I don’t find the churchiness very helpful either these days or in the past. I only try to do  a good job at leading and performing.

Autocracy: Rules for Survival | by Masha Gessen | NYR Daily | The New York Review of Books

Daughter Elizabeth posted this on Boogfacer yesterday. I just got off the phone with her. It was posted under the rubric “Legit Hysteria.” I phoned Elizabeth to let her know I wasn’t able to support this approach to the post election period. What I need is clarity not hysteria. She, of course, completely understood.

The author of this article has a done a lot of good, especially it seems for Russia. She’s living in New York right now. She fled her home country fearing for the well being of her children, since she is a lesbian mom in a hostile environment. I support all this, of course. But addressing our recent election without mentioning the wild inconsistency and incoherence of Trump and confusion of identifying his constituency (a media and echo chamber failure) leads me to think that Gessen understands Russia better than the USA. She holds dual citizenship.

Red, Blue and Divided: Six Views of America – The New York Times

This looks like an attempt to redress some of the NYT’s recent insularity to people outside the beltway. I especially like this quote:

In some ways, the echo chamber was the winner of this election. Here we are, deeply connected. And yet red America is typing away to red America, and blue America is typing away to blue America.

Ha Jin’s Latest Novel Shows Off His Funny Side – The New York Times

Image result for the boat rocker ha jin

This looks interesting.

Lies in the Guise of News in the Trump Era – The New York Times

Not hysterical, but definitely wary of misinformation.

When Borders Close – The New York Times

Some history lessons. Not encouraging ones.

When Republicans Take Power – The New York Times

Some interesting observations from a Republican writing on the pages of the NYT.


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