Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Lull


It seems that the classical music blogosphere has taken a hit this holiday, with vacations and overstuffing taking precedent over postings. I have been as guilty as anyone, but my excuse lies not only in a family holiday (replete with visiting nieces, aged five and seven) but a severely gashed index finger on my left hand, an injury which happened while chopping celery at a friend's house. Let this be a lesson to you all: don't be too helpful around this time of year, as it will double back and harm you in some way.

Being home makes me vastly nostalgic, and I always attempt to skew my listening accordingly. This trip I've been unable to keep away from Sir Michael Tippett's The Rose Lake, a work whose American premiere I was fortunate enough to witness more than once while a student in Boston. I sat in a box for all the performances, and had one of those early life-changers which is part and parcel of any artist's story. Each night, apart from being just completely enraptured by the work--think of a vast sea of tuned rototoms stage left and you can only imagine the little composer's eyes lighting up at the possibilities; I'd be willing to bet many a percussionist had hoped composers would not see this concert--I got to watch the frail, almost senescent Tippett, a hero of mine from way back, as he listened, not only to his own work but to Beethoven's Fourth Piano Concerto. Maybe this is romantic projection, but I sensed something in his demeanor as he listened that made me grow to love him more. His eyes lit; he leaned forward; his trembling hands crossed.

So driving around the weird wasteland that is Los Angeles, The Rose Lake is an odd soundtrack, especially its desultory "plop" of an anti-ending. Combined with lurid and overwhelming nostalgia, it takes on new life and new symmetries for me which I will no doubt be trying to recapture on my next sojourn here.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anastasia said...

Empathies: I almost severed my left index finger a few years ago (recalcitrant pumpkin, too lightweight chef's knife) during Rosh Hashanah. Holidays are very, very dangerous.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Steve Smith said...

Fabulous recollections of the Tippett concerts -- thanks for sharing that.

8:03 AM  

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