Thursday, August 22, 2013

songs that sound as if they were composed by babies and other equally weighty matters

The kid is cute, but I do not wish to play for my recital any piece that sounds as though it was composed by her.

Tonight I worked with my piano accompanist for my violin senior recital.  We came up with  tentative line-up. I'll email it to my violin professor tomorrow, who will email it to the chair for my panel, who will then email his decision. One or two selections at most will be rejected. I'm not submitting my encore. That's my secret weapon. It's the one piece I already have nailed that is far beyond my overall ability a  violinist.

I'll need a flutist and a guitarist. Recital committees tend to like a little musical diversity.  The Paganini piece with guitar is lovely, and I happen to be closely related to a man who had a major in guitar performance.  He's closely related enough that he already has the date blocked out on his calendar. He won't say no.

I have a few choices as flutists. The obvious choice would be my mom, but it might be viewed by some as nepotism.  My mom's best friend's daughter is a flutist and could do it easily, but she's a tad flaky. I would think she'd understand the importance of commitment in this case, and my Godfather would make it financially worth her while to show up. I could also ask my Aunt Victoria's best friend, who has a master's in flute performance as well as in conducting, and would be considered a professional., although the conducting won't do me any good. The connection is the weakest, and I hate to ask her to travel the distance, but she's the best of the three (mom, mom's best friend's daughter, and Godmother's best friend). Mom's best friend's daughter does have really good tone -- maybe not as good as the professional's tone, but good just the same. Furthermore, she's pretty. It shouldn't matter, but in a subtle way, it does. People, even selection committees, like to look at pretty people. My mom's pretty, too, but she's 46, not 22, and the selection committee sees her all the time, anyway. They're all used to looking at her.

My mom and my professor will disagree with my saving the Preludio to the Partita for my encore, as it's what I play anytime I want someone to think I'm really good, so it would seem to them a waste not to use it as one of my regular program pieces, but an encore can raise your score; it just can't lower it.  For that matter, even though it has a high degree of technical difficulty and is incredibly impressive, it doesn't really showcase my tone quality, which is my asset as a violinist, and for which the adjudication panel will be knowledgeable enough to listen. The Telemann, the other Bach piece, and the Mozart piece are pushing my ability, but I have six more months to prep, and I'm not that far from having them nailed. An encore should be short, which the Telemann Partita, if played correctly, is just under four minutes ling if I recall correctly. In any event, it's the shortest of the three Baroque pieces. Everything else I have, other than my modern piece, is too long.  I only have one modern piece, so I can't switch it out. I could come up with something else for the Classical or Romance period without too much effort, but I don't want to.

The Paganini piece is divine and stays in the program even if I have to bribe a committee member.

The modern piece is controversial. I absolutely detest the dissonance of Hindemuth, Bartok, Prokofiev and all. If my selection is rejected, I'll probably look for an obscure Gershwin piece. I'm not sure how much he did for solo violin, and transcriptions aren't usually accepted. I  don't mind  bluesy chords.  It's just outright dissonance occurring continuously that grates on me. The rare occasional rustic chord is nice, but when a piece is based on a sequence of chords that make no sense either by themselves or in place and sound as though they were put together by a deaf eighteen-month-old, it's not something I can practice for the amount of time necessary for the piece to be recital-ready without the involvement of drugs, legal or otherwise.

Pope John Paul III approves of all my selections. If he likes something I'm playing, he sits at my feet. If he doesn't like it, he stays in the room but moves as far away as possible.  That reminds me that I need to have  written orders from one of my doctors for  The Pope to attend both of my recitals.  It shouldn't be hard to find someone with a medical doctorate who will do that for me. God knows I have enough of them in my life.  What if a terrorist storms the stage right in the middle of something that I'm concentrating so hard on that I don't notice it?  The pope (my dog, not the actual one; His Divine Eminence, or whatever he calls himself,  probably thinks there are too many American smorgasbord Catholics as it is, and the loss of one wouldn't exactly harm the cause) will protect me.

For the record, my proposed recital program as submitted  August 21, 2013.

Telemann Sonata for flute and violin
Bach Sonata Number Three in E major for violin and piano

Mozart Violin Sonata 33 in E-flat major

Paganini Cantabile for piano and guitar

Falls - The Musical Priest (unaccompanied)

Bach Preludio to Partita for Violin (unaccompanied)
(not submitted to professor of committee)

If you hear this, you'll understand why I want it as my encore. It's violin as God or Buddha or Maitreya or the Dalai Lama  intended for it to be composed for and played.