Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Moments! Moments!

Last night I had the pleasure of playing a program consisting primarily of music by Mozart: the early sonata in F, the Variations on Lison Dormait, the later sonata in B-flat, K. 330, and selections by Schumann.  Among the audience was my daughter, who "hates Mozart."  Naturally her presence constituted a significant challenge.

At the end I asked her how she liked it:  "There were moments," she replied.

She couldn't have put her finger more precisely on the point:  moments.

Her own distinctively original music often uses genres familiar to her audience, like the blues, or salsa.  But there is an inevitable twist somewhere that distinguishes it from the run-of-the-mill.  And it is that twist that stays with the listener, that haunts, and intrigues the fellow musician.  It is not all that different from Mozart who also used genres familiar to his audience but with departures unique to him and not easily decipherable from the printed page.

The undisputed hit of the evening was Schumann's Op. 133, No. 5, his last composition for piano.  Difficult beyond description, calling as it does at times for four separately voiced sounds at once, it brings out the full vertical and linear shimmer of the piano within a couple of pregnant minutes that might be said to successfully prolong a pianistic moment.

Who is it wrote Moments Musicaux?  {Yes I realize that the composer got the French wrong....)