Thursday, August 1, 2013

Brief autobiographical note

I’ve been traveling — to NYC for a lesson with Sophia Rosoff; to Brooklyn to rehearse Ives songs with David Barron; to the Fischer Center to see the current production of Oresteia; and to suburban Red Hook to visit Kyle and Nancy Gann. (That's the upstate Red Hook, not the neighborhood in Brooklyn.) Drove back to Middletown to play part of my September recital for Sarah (Starnes) Simonitis (Wesleyan '99), her husband Ken, and their two-year old son David. (A second Simonitis child will arrive in about two months.) Came home, took a nap, and started attending to all the Emails I hadn’t kept up with while driving around NY and CT, visiting, rehearsing, etc.

For Sarah, Ken and David I played “Tuckaway in Early Summer,” the two new fugues for Sophia and Maeny, the first three moments of A Partita for Wilhelm Gertz, and “Seven Variations on ‘Suzy, Little Suzy.’” David was very well-behaved, but it was clearly going to be a problem if my preview recital went on much longer. (I didn’t take it personally. Any toddler would have had a similar reaction to an all-Neely Bruce piano recital, I’m sure.) Lunch at O’Rourke’s was excellent, as always.

I am going to resist the temptation to write about Oresteia by Sergey Taneyev, except to say that I really liked it, it’s a fine piece, and that Bard and the Fischer Center are to be congratulated for putting it before the public. The singers were uniformly good, and occasionally better than that. The best thing in the vocal department was the chorus! They sang the best and had the best music. Thrilling actually. Kudos to chorus director James Bagwell and his splendid crew.

Tomorrow morning I start writing about individual piano pieces. I promise.

Addendum: Christopher Grundy went with me to my lesson with Sophia and sand the "Five Songs on Poems of John Finlay" for her. He sings those pieces so well! Come to the September 29th recital and you'll see what I mean.

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