So this morning I’m streaming Jazz. Yesterday I discovered a charming band called Tiempo Libre on this station. I heard something that interested me so I began paying attention. It turned out to be a piece called “Fuga” by Tiempo Libre based on a Bach sonata I don’t know. If you click on the album cover below it should take you to a Tiempo Libre page for their album called “Bach in Havana.” After you click on any title a tab should open and you can listen to the entire album. I just checked out a score [link to original Bach score this is based on…. the theme Tiempo Libre uses begins at the bottom of the second page].
After looking at the Bach score this morning I notice that the parts that attracted me were the first two thematic entrances which are not directly taken from the Bach score. Interesting.
Speaking of Bach, during the peace at Church yesterday a woman thanked me for the prelude and told me she would tell me why after church. It turns out that she and her husband used to listen to a recording of the Orgelbuchlein (!) in their New York apartment. Their two year old son found a path throughout the rooms of the apartment to ride his toy (a fire engine?). She said that when the piece I played yesterday came on (that particular track) he would invariably go find his toy and ride for the duration of the piece.
When this son was tragically killed as an adult, she and her husband were surprised to learn that the local college prof who was the organist at the church where the funeral was held refused to perform this piece at the wedding because he didn’t feel prepared. Instead she found a friend at another church (someone much much lower on the local pecking order of musicians…. not a college prof) who happily agreed to play it.
The piece is called “In Dir ist freude” which I read as “In thee is joy.” Here is a [link] to James Kibbie playing it if you’re curious. He plays it better than I did and faster. It was interesting this woman spoke to me about the prelude. I get a lot of comments at church but rarely about the organ music. I also was not terribly happy with my performance of this work yesterday. It went okay. But I was unable to stop focusing on people in the congregation who I have recently discovered seem to consider me a third rate musician. Ah well.
So my concentration was interrupted but not fatally. It does bother me when I know that I am allowing my inner monologue to babble on during a good piece of music. I have consciously to guard and work and against this and I wasn’t prepared to do this yesterday. When I played weekly at Notre Dame however I was. I found Notre Dame to be a hostile environment which I managed to surmount with considerable effort. Now it seems that I am allowing one or two people to do the same thing at my little Episcopal church in Holland. I have to get hold of this better and probably will.
There was another person waiting for me after church as well. She wanted to tell me how well the choir sang the African American spiritual, “You Hear the Lambs a-Cryin'” And actually they did sing well yesterday.
Another person at the coffee hour insisted that we must have one of the best choirs in town. I didn’t demur because I thought it might be a bit rude and counterproductive to contradict such a nice compliment. But I haven’t been happy with the overall choir sound this year. I have attributed this largely to lack of practice.
But come to think of it I have recently sacrificed part of my pregame rehearsal time to some old fashioned choral vocalises and warm ups and it has seemed to make a difference in their blend and diction.
Before I close I want to point out another listening possibility on the web. This time it is largely spoken word programs. As far as I can tell prx.org [link] seems to be an online distribution and licensing web site for NPR stations with listener privilege granted to the general public just for registering.
You have to have the patience to poke around but you will be rewarded if you like programs like The Moth and old short stories by Philip K. Dick and other interesting radio stuff.
I’m afraid it might not be available in the UK (sorry Sarah I think we have had this conversation due to your love of The Moth).