nice to be asked and Tchaikovsky, Handel, Clara Schumann


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I know it’s pathetic but I was happy to see an email in my inbox from Linda Strouf asking me to contribute an organ piece to the AGO convention publication of local yokel composers. I figured I had been overlooked or intentionally passed over. Creative types can be overly sensitive. I know that I am.

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I could submit a previously composed unpublished piece such as Mental Floss pdf  but I have been thinking of firing up the old composing skills anyway. It was inspiring to hear Nick’s organ piece last Sunday played by Jane.

Jane was very flattering about me in her comments about my piece. Maybe I’m not as far under  the local radar as I sometimes feel.

I decided that if Holland Public Schools were closed today I would cancel rehearsal this evening. As it is, they are open and it looks like as the day progresses it will become easier and easier to get around locally. I’m lazy enough that canceling rehearsal has a certain appeal, but I enjoy doing the rehearsal so either way is fine.

I got up yesterday morning thinking about Tchaikovsky.  Dawn, my cellist, mentioned Sunday that she had heard a good rendition of his Andante Cantabile from his Quartet, Op. 11.

I have always loved this piece since stumbling on a string quartet at Interlochen playing it in the woods.

I pulled out the piano transcription and played through it.

I’ve also been playing a shit load of Handel on the keyboard since being inspired by the performance Sunday of three of his arias at the recital.

My Tchaikovsky is in a very old anthology I have had since I was a kid. It used to look this:

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Now it has no cover and is dog-eared. I was looking at the pieces in it thinking maybe I could pick one for my student to read today at the lesson. My piano student never practices. I have tried to get him to quit several times. But I have a soft spot in my heart for the dude having known him for so long. So his pieces just keep getting worse since he doesn’t pick them up between lessons. He has reasonable skills at the keyboard but likes to play things way too hard for himself. Since he is about twenty or so years my senior I have chosen to let him pick his own repertoire. But I think there’s some pieces in my old anthology that he would enjoy that are much easier than the Chopin and Liszt he is currently supposedly studying.

A.I. Shows Promise as a Physician Assistant – The New York Times

Everywhere in the Animal Kingdom, Followers of the Milky Way

Ancient European Stone Monuments Said to Originate in Northwest France

Regular readers know that I struggle with getting access to the New York Times since I don’t want to waste all that paper on it’s daily subscription. Recently I subscribed to the Sunday paper (which has yet to actually arrive). This includes the Replica edition of the daily which is the best way  I have found to access the paper online.

Using the Replica reminded me that Tuesdays NYT always has a Science section. I used to love checking it out but fell out of the habit since it was so clunky to access online. But now I’m back in the groove and the above are a few links from that section that looked interesting to me.

Nancy B. Reich, Scholarly Champion of Clara Schumann, Dies at 94 – The New York Times

The Replica edition has also helped me not miss interesting obits. The one above inspired me to learn more about Clara Schumann. My trio is learning a piece by her and it is excellent. I used to be more skeptical about women composers and regret that now. Clara is every bit as brilliant as her husband and Brahms.

Eugene V. Debs and the Endurance of Socialism | The New Yorker

Jill Lepore writes inthe current issue about Debs. I liked this quote from her article. Being a Pullman Porter was one job that was safe for African American men to have and not get too hassled.

“In 1894, one Pullman worker stated the nature of the problem: “We are born in a Pullman house, fed from the Pullman shops, taught in the Pullman school, catechized in the Pullman Church, and when we die we shall go to the Pullman Hell.” We live in Amazon houses and eat Amazon groceries and read Amazon newspapers and when we die we shall go to an Amazon Hell. In the meantime, you can buy your Bernie 2020 hats and A.O.C. T-shirts on . . . Amazon.”

Trump offers socialism for the rich, capitalism for everyone else

I know not all my readers share my politics, but this Guardian article nails it for me.

2 thoughts on “nice to be asked and Tchaikovsky, Handel, Clara Schumann

  1. wasn’t it a bit more literal for the Pullmans who were using tokens issued by their employer to buy things from stores owned by their employer, etc?

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