some harpsichord talk


Yesterday at my trio rehearsal, I strummed a chord or two on my harpsichord and decided it was no worse in tune than the piano. My fellow musicians were eager to try out a piece with it. We played Bach’s B minor violin sonata, all movements.

Image result for bach violin sonata 1014

My harpsichord is practically a completely different instrument now. The touch is completely different. The sound more delicate. I was always satisfied with the sound of the old instrument. The refurbished instrument sounds beautiful as well.

I have been struggling with solo repertoire on it and probably zeroing in on a small percentage of notes that don’t return well or play quick ornaments easily.  I keep attempting to adjust it so that all the notes work well. But I was surprised that I felt better about using it in an ensemble.

The three of us were pretty ecstatic about doing this. Amy, my violinist,  pointed out how fortunate I was. A good room, a world class organ and a harpsichord at my disposal. No argument from me.  At the end of the rehearsal, Amy said that she, herself, had experience $900 worth of enjoyment from just that one session. That’s the amount it cost to get my plectrum voiced.

I love the music we played. Amy played the hell out of the first movement. It begins this long video.

Later when we were we chatting, Dawn, my cellist, bragged to Amy that I had recently performed the Widor Toccata on the new organ. This piece is a favorite of hers (and other parishioners as well).  She complimented my playing to Amy and remarked that each time I performed it, it was a little better.

High praise from a colleague.

After they left I practiced organ. It is such a pleasure to rehearse and perform on this instrument.

Eileen pointed out how decadent our life has become recently. While I was at trio rehearsal, she ordered groceries from Meijer to be delivered to our house. I add that my new speakers and use of Mom’s TV have made listening to music more enjoyable. This morning I listened to Ligeti instead of the news. This was the first piece. I’m going to have to check out his Ricercares.

I know that our life style is not that extravagant. But for us, it is definitely a time when we have much more than we need.

Image result for Spy car and other poems lynne handy

I finished this book of poetry this morning. Lynne Handy is definitely a skilled poet. There were two poems I especially liked. They don’t seem to be online anywhere. Here’s a link to her website.

And here’s a nice little bit from a poem in the March issue of Poetry I read this morning.

it was stupid. silly really. i knew nothing

that easy to get & good to feel
isn’t also trying to eat you.

from “sometimes i wish i felt the side effects” by Danez Smith, Poetry February 2018

Although Danez Smith is writing about a relationship between people, I couldn’t help but think of the internet maxim: “if the product is free, you are the product.”

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