Saturday, October 27, 2018



October 26, 2018

Cristina Valdés, piano
Meany Hall, Seattle

Klavierstück IX - Stockhausen
Pièces Froides Danses de travers - Satie
Gymnopédie No. 3 - Satie
Ein Kinderspiel - Lachenmann
Douze Notations pour piano - Boulez
Gnossienes No. 3 & No. 5 - Satie
Piano Sonata - Bartók


Cristina's performance presence ought, to my mind, to be a model for other pianists (and for more than a few violinists)
not shirking in concentration nor elegance one bit
but never bringing attention to itself, as itself, as a distraction, from the real magic that's going on
and magic it is too
say it again

Satie and Couperin, soul bros in so many ways
and both French!
imagine that

Lachenmann showed up in repertoire culture after I had pretty much given up keeping up with developments abroad
in the sense that, at least in these pieces, he is being a pianists' composer rather than a composer's composer, he reminds me of the late Greg Short

Boulez in these early pieces trying on coats, not quite the one that fits yet

Bartók this barnburner was written the year my Dad was born

Part of the reason I gave up keeping up with developments abroad was the overwhelming experience that was my discovery in 1978 or so, and exploration ever since then, though certainly less so now, of the music of Stockhausen. In a way, after that, I didn't need another or very much more music from abroad. And IX was certainly among the pieces that stuck. The overt severing of the realms, the note playing realm from the resonance billowing realm, cracked a door open in my own work, a door that was already pretty loose on its hinges, truth be told. It is fascinating, now, 40 years on, to hear that wild ass music that riveted me in my seat in the UW School of Music's lower-level listening library, trotted out into the clear air in Meany Hall, right there in public as an ever so venerable hunk of repertoire. I would be more disturbed if Cristina hadn't made it so clear that what it truly is is a poem of bone and blood, awesome magic

And now if you'll allow me an amused aside
about a week ago Cristina had, as a sort of mock-desperate joke, asked if anyone would be willing to write the program notes for her and by the way they are due tomorrow. My not entirely unserious response was to ask if she had ever considered not having program notes at all. imagine then my delight when I sit down to listen and there are no program notes! My dream came true! I must be in heaven!


October 21, 2018
Concerto in F BWV 1046 - J. S. Bach - New London Consort, Phillip Pickett

composing to show he can
he overdid it
conception beyond any possible previous experience
see, I can write idiomatically for any and each
what you can expect should you hire me
pre-figure of Pictures at an Exhibition

Quartet in F op. 59 #1 - Beethoven - Alban Berg Quartett

the ground will begin to curve downward or drop or vanish into other grounds
the long groups that eventually seem to repeat are so repletely cross-indexed with their own internal repetitions of patterns and patterns of patterns and inner levels of levels that the grander scheme is uncanny
or, what is it that Beethoven thought a movement was? anyway?
we are being ushered somewhere into some society of some kind a refined kind
but can we trust beauty and a human face?
do we trust where we are going?
we are variously pulsed into and away in waves of envelopments
like falling into sleep

Terzetto "Ah! qual colpo inaspettato!" - Rossini - Failoni Chamber Orchestra (Budapest), William Humburg, Roberto Servile, Sonia Ganassi, Ramon Vargas, Angelo Romero, Franco de Grandis, Hungarian Radio Chorus [from The Barber of Seville (Highlights)]

hint: follow the voice closely
get right up in its face

Symphony in A (#6) - Bruckner - New Philharmonia Orchestra, Otto Klemperer

as though overturing an opera
even his by the book sequiturs sound like nons
naked quite starkly in his contrapuntal proclivities
a nervous keyboardist's way with figurational counterpoint
in order to proceed properly to Y one must pass through the membrane of X
it hurts but it lasts
where you are when you are here
from within everyhuman all planes occupy every where all the time
the action is in the melodies between paired or patterned paired patterns and or patterned pairs: between
the still
the motion lurching through similar the stretching within obliqueness
as succinct as it gets

October 23, 2018
Sonata in F op. 99 - Brahms - Emanuel Ax, Yo-Yo Ma

the face of this collaboration is not always turned outward (usward) nor really even often
loves to linger, hold a thought in its hand, Yorick alas
tunes spill out from their vessels

In Session at the Tintinabulary

October 22,2018
Banned Rehearsal 968 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, Aaron Keyt

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