Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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.