Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More Moderato

Schubert's piano music has been the subject of many blog posts lately.  It is probably the most thought-provoking music I have ever contemplated. it haunts me.

Describing it today to a non-musician who heard my recent performance of the Op. 42 A minor sonata, I remarked that his work is profoundly conflicted between syntax and lyricism.  Long before I attached words to this conflict I recognized it in Rocks and Water: Cornwall 2004, the drawing by Joan Farber reproduced here.  It is to this conflict that Schubert's moderato testifies.

One audience member asked: "How do you know when a musical idea does not conform to strict syntactical rules?"-- of meter, for instance.  Good question.  Experience has taught me to respect boredom as a form of question mark.  Having accepted that the mere sequence of regular beats is not enough to make the music come to life I look for non sequitors, signs of drunkenness, places where a conspicuous repeated note over multiple measures overrides divisions into bars and beats.

To see more works by Joan Farber go to http://local-artists.org/user/4069.