Monday, March 8, 2010

Comes the Spring

Some welcome signs of spring have begun appearing here in Fallsington. There are very few traces of snow left in a few shady corners of the neighborhood, and yesterday and today a sweatshirt is more than enough to keep me comfortable. My checkbook can start breathing a sigh of relief as I notice the wheel on the gas meter is spinning much slower and much less frequently. Normally I'm little bothered by the winter weather. Perhaps it's me just getting a little older, but my sense of relief at seeing the thermometer shift to the mid-50s from what was very recently the mid-20s is quite palpable.

Although I can't think of any reason why, with the change in season outside, I'm suddenly feeling ready to return to the Telemann Fantasias. While I've had a number of surprise distractions during this past couple of weeks of self-imposed Telemann embargo, and didn't necessarily work on the things I expected to work on, I did manage to record a number of Rochut etudes. I also did arranged a little transcription of Bach's "Bist du bei mir," which is a gorgeous piece of music (and which I recently learned may be spuriously attributed to Bach). I'll try to do a two-track recording of that one of these days. I spent some time messing around with the encore piece "Hailstorm," which is great fun to play and is an excellent triple-tongue workout, and I spent some time with the Bach Cello Suites, which I used to play all the time on euph, but not so much lately.

In addition I got some cello playing in, though not so much as I had hoped until the last couple of days. Fortunately, I think I have momentum on my side with that now. Finally, I've recently started working my way through the 69 Chorale Melodies (Bach, again) on piano--one every morning while my computer is booting up. Let me assure you, I'm no piano player. However, these little tunes, each with only two voices, are just easy enough that I can plink my way through them, but just hard enough to challenge me. Also, they're quite beautiful and amazingly satisfying to play. I figure if I play through the book 10-20 times perhaps I can move on to something like a two-part invention. From there, I imagine it's a short dotted line to Prokofiev's 2nd and 3rd Piano Concertos.

My next Telemann recording will be Fantasia #3. This one breaks the mold that we've seen up to this point in that this Fantasia contains only two, not three, movements. The first is marked Largo-Vivace-Largo-Vivace, and the second is marked Allegro. I'll post some analysis of this piece and a discussion of my transcription over the coming days.

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