thinking about music


At the funeral yesterday, the mourners were loud. And there were a lot of them. When people are making a lot of noise in church and I’m supposed to be playing the prelude, I have a tendency to just a play little softer and withdraw into the music. It’s not a bad place to be.

Yesterday it was Mozart. Before the service I managed to come up with a few anthems for the upcoming season. I have a cool idea to start with an adaptation the last movement of Bach’s Cantata 142. I found it in the files. It was done in 1950 by Russell Hancock Miler (whoever he was). It’s in English and Mr. Miler footnotes that although “originally written for Christmas… [it’s] suitable for Thanksgiving or any other festive occasion.”

Bach’s Cantata 142 is old friend of mine. It was the first Bach cantata I ever conducted in public years ago at my little Episcopal church in Holland. I have fond memories of my brother singing one of the solos, the priest’s wife singing another and the priest himself ably playing first violin in the little orchestra. Another priest from Tawas was an accomplished french horn player and i adapted an orchestra part for him. That was fun.


I emailed Amy, the violinist in my trio, and asked her if she is free on Sept  20, our first scheduled choir Sunday. If she can do it, I will ask Dawn my cellist to play cello and I will probably conduct from the piano since that way the choir can sing into the room.

The choral parts should present little challenge for my choir even though we will only have one real rehearsal.

If Amy can’t do it, I will probably not do it. I have another anthem in mind based on “How Can I Keep From Singing?” which should fall together easily with one rehearsal. I may call Amy today or tomorrow if she doesn’t respond to my email.

My blog post hits are back down in the 40s where they usually hover. It’s a bit inexplicable to me why they peaked recently.

After sitting and playing Mozart while people ignored me, it’s kind of odd to me that this blog would attract anyone but blood relatives who like to keep up with me.

I spent some time with Mendelssohn and Beethoven on the piano yesterday. Just for fun. This morning I played some more Mendelssohn and Brahms. I read recently in the NYT that a pianist performed Liszt’s transcription of Beethoven’s 5th symphony in a concert. That’s cool. It inspired me to look a bit at the Pastorale symphony yesterday in Liszt’s version. I continue to wonder how many people (besides academics) listen to this music these days.

I have been using Songza and finding it quite good. I’m thinking of trimming a bunch of our expenses like Spotify. We need to spend a bit less money. I think I could do without Spotify if I continue to find Songza so good.

Well, enough. I have to get ready for church

Salman Rushdie on His New Novel, With a Character Who Floats Just Above Grou

An interview. His new novel sounds like fun.

The Truth of ‘Black Lives Matter’ – The New York Times

Admittedly this is an ongoing discussion of SLOGANS not issues. However, many people who are against this slogan seem to be consciously or unconsciously celebrating white supremacy. Jes sayin


2 thoughts on “thinking about music

  1. Ahem – NOT a blood relative. Just saying…
    Also, thanks for turning me on to that Atwood trilogy. I have become obsessed, and recommended them to many a friend.
    Also really enjoyed A Tale for the Time Being.

  2. I stand corrected. Thank you for reading. I suspect I have a few more readers who are not blood relatives, but don’t comment that often if at all. Yes Atwood is quite good as is Ozeki. I was just thinking recently I should look up some of her other work since the Tale is the only thing I have read by her.

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