26 November 2017

Towards a Smoother Glide

This morning, I made some minor modifications to Just a Smoother Glide With Thee.  Starting tomorrow, I shall git practicing.

Last night, I watched The Wrong Man again. Hitchcock’s maxim was: Always make the audience suffer as much as possible. The suffering is a bit more acute in this one, knowing that it is based on the actual hellish experience of real people. This is only my second viewing, so this was the first time I appreciated Herrmann’s exquisitely delicate scoring in (e.g.) the scenes where Manny is losing Rose.

Although the periods/episodes were too irregular for the simile, my ears have over the years had a pendulum-ish experience with Moses und Aron. (And, as with the Berg Kammerkonzert, the pendulum at last came to enduring rest on the positive end.) But for a long-ish while, it would have been fair to say that I admired the opera, more than I enjoyed it. Now, I do genuinely enjoy it, although even so, it has been a work that I’ve gone to only when my ears were itching for it.

So, naturally, I revisited the opera last night, hopping in (perhaps capriciously) at Act II Scene 2, Wo ist Moses? For whatever posy of reasons, on this listen my ear is especially alive to Schoenberg the master colorist at work.

Well, let me speculate upon one reason:  my nascent work on The Nerves, somehow, has my ear piercing the Schoenberg score to a degree of specificity which is here new.  Given that Moses und Aron is a grand work, ambitious in compositional scope, I was apt to neglect all the passages of delicacy.  But this is nothing new, from (for instance) my familiarity with the Shostakovich Fourth Symphony.  So I have but learnt to move the lamp to a different angle, and lo, I see Schoenberg in  new light.

On the lines of High Time! I am listening to Martinů’s Ariane . . . in fact, I have a few of his operas which await my attention.

So much wonderful music, so little time.


Cato said...

Schoenberg welcomes all to the positive side of "Moses und Aron" at whatever time in life!

Karl Henning said...

And this week I shall give ear to a later Boulez recording of M&A, leading the Concertgebopuworkest.