schubert, billie holiday, zadie smith


It was a small crowd at Ash Wednesday last night. I counted about 45 in the congregation plus 12 singers in the choir. The setting is so intimate that the congregation has little choice but to get quiet as I play the prelude.  Last night’s prelude timed out at just over seven minutes. It was lovely slow movement from Schubert’s E Major piano sonata. I was going to embed a recording and then I ran across this wonderful recording of another movement by Arthur Brendel.

I guess I’m in a Schubert mood. Playing two Schubert piano sonata movements last night was a stretch for me. But I’m glad I did it. Several choir members sat through the postlude as well.

Image result for billie holiday

I can remember the first time I ever heard a Billie Holiday recording. It was on a Canadian Radio Station and the show was called “The Eclectic Circus” and moved from one musical style to another. The announcer introduced the piece as by the incomparable Billie Holiday and I was love struck by the sound.

The quality on this YouTube beauty is not great, but man o man this is quintessential Lady Day.

I bring up Billie Holiday because Zadie Smith published a short piece of fiction about her this week in the New Yorker. Billie Holiday, Zadie Smith, what’s not to like?

Crazy They Call Me by Zadie Smith – The New Yorker

 Zadie Smith Reads “Crazy They Call Me” – The New Yorker

I have a ton of work to do today in prep for this afternoon’s piano trio rehearsal so that’s all the time I have.

If you don’t know Holiday’s lynching song, you might want to take a listen.

Image result for billie  strange fruit


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