Sunday, July 31, 2016

Musical happenings ...

July and early August brings us the NH Music Festival, an extraordinary event--and so close to home, which thrills me. I went to opening night this year. The deciding factor was Beethoven's Fifth Piano Concerto. If you have never heard this, do yourself a favor:

If nothing else, listen to the 2nd movement. Image yourself lying supine, floating around the heavens on a cloud... it starts at 21:10 in the video.

The evening was sheer pleasure. Opening night at the festival includes--gratuitous with ticket--wine and/or champagne, cheese, crackers, fruit--as you will. Pre-concert and during intermission. Very impressive. Before intermission, the orchestra played Handel and Haydn. Bliss. Beauty. Perfection.

I attended my second concert last Thursday: Brahm's Requiem, formally: Ein Deutsches Requiem. Oh my word. To begin with, Brahms is one of my favorite composers. One of the very first pieces I ever taught myself was his Lullaby. It was in a book of music we received from my Aunt Emma. I well remember sitting at the upright in the living room--with it's missing keytops and a few broken keys--but hey! It was better than nothing!!--learning how to play it. It sounded so fresh and beautiful and deep and meaningful. A fabulous, fabulous concert. Overwhelmingly powerful at times with the orchestra and choir at full throttle. Honestly, I was drained when it ended. Drained in the best possible way.

On a smaller scale, we held our summer concert this afternoon. It too, was full of joy. We played in a new-to-us venue: A Unitarian Universalist meeting house in Norwich, VT. Very serene, joyous space designed in an almost Shaker-like simplicity. High cathedral ceiling; great acoustics! We enjoyed standing room only! Golly. Much, much fun. Cookies, fruit, and juices post-concert. Lovely community gathering.

Now I can bring my energies to focus entirely on my lesson material: Bach's Arioso.

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