02 April 2010

No foolin’

Of course, the contemplative’s ideal is what we must all come to before we reach heaven, and of course if one can it is convenient to stop wasting time and get through as much as possible of purgation here. But don’t you think most souls are of slow growth?
— Evelyn Waugh
(Letter to Thos Merton, 28 August 1949)

My blogging these days is rather sporadic, so I elected not to post anything yesterday. Safety First.

To begin with, Paul Cienniwa played a harpsichord recital (including a new-ish piece), and earns favorable press:

“Not everyone can capture the Baroque French style as Cienniwa does.”

Good start on the bass clarinet / percussion duet Angular Whimsies for DMC Duo. Their June tour includes a date here in Cambridge, so incentive is strong for this Opus 100.

Chap with whom I had planned to play on the 18 May recital at King’s Chapel forgot about Pennsylvania. Or, had not realized that Pennsylvania is where he will be on that date. So flutist Peter Bloom has most affably agreed to come aboard for that date; and with Peter on the program, it is no Plan B. More on which a bit later.

Initial word comes in from my old schoolmate Steve Falker viz. The Angel... Good positive response, yet also tentative confirmation that the piece is “a little long to keep the trumpet on the face.” Clear to me that I need to consider the most musical method of abbreviation. Not at all any musical tragedy, as the piece in its original daunting dimensions lives very nicely as a flute solo.

Curiously, that consideration also provokes ideas for alternative approaches to the flute solo version. (In fact, it is a possible strategy to relieve the trumpeter, as will appear.) I’ve got an idea of having Peter Bloom play the alto flute version this May in King’s Chapel; and at three points, inserting clarinet solo ‘interruptions’. Of course, it may just be a weird passing thought.

Or maybe, as I mull it over, I’ll just plain like it.

(Could be playfully thinking of music as always a work-in-progress, in honor of Boulez’s 85th birthday.)

Nicole Randall-Chamberlain (flutist/composer) and Brian Chamberlain (guitarist/composer) will come to Boston in June. We shall all play a concert or two together, one of them at First Congo in Woburn on Monday, 21 June. For that occasion, my fingers are crossed that we may at last hear the première of Gaze Transfixt . . . maybe Lutosławski’s Lullaby, too. Paul may by then have electrified a harpsichord, and we can give that a test-drive, too. Seems we ought to have a piece for the occasion on which we all play together, and sonic ideas are forming under the name The Sleeping Beauty’s Dream.

And Paul & I will rehearse Lunar Glare today.

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