Bruckner - an unexpected pleasure

The season begins! First concert features Bruckner Symphony #4, "The Romantic" (1878-80), which is an indulgently long, warm work that grows on you! While it may lack the fire and wildness of Mahler or Strauss, you just have to sit back a little and enjoy the "landscape" slowly passing by, the wonderful evolution of the harmonies, the occasional asides into Viennese tenderness, and of course the remarkable glow of the big brass writing. Sublime. And a good excuse to use my Powell Grenadilla flute; just the right colors!

The concert will be Sunday, Sept. 18th, at 5pm at the C.C.B. in Lisbon, and features the much more modern Lutoslawski Cello Concerto (1970) with Johannes Moser as soloist on the first half of the concert. I'm looking forward to working on that tomorrow—playing the piece, and hearing some wonderful cello playing! Two very complimentary/contrasting works to make a very balanced program—a great start to the season! Lutoslawski in black and white; Bruckner in color—

The Sound of Silence

You might think, if you are not TOO TOO young, that I'm referring to the classic Simon and Garfunkel album, the one I grew up listing to endlessly, putting the needle back into the groove again and again. (This was way before vinyl was "vintage", it was just "a record"). What a fabulous album! Want to know how to balance or pace a program or a CD? Look no further. "Sounds of Silence", technically. 

But no, I'm actually talking about the SILENCE of having my cell phone in the shop!! THIS, folks, is real silence! No calls, no alerts, no beeps, no apps…and… no distractions! It is a drastic measure, and I don't recommend smashing the screen on your phone to experience it, but there's something magic, too! Time that is wider-open. Silence that you can sink into. (In short: I got a lot of tidying up done!).

As musicians, we concentrate on the SOUNDS we make, but the SILENCE in between is always important, too. The silence before a piece begins, the silence after—sometimes big, sometimes tiny. The silence of an empty strong beat (thanks again, Karl Kohn). The silence where the music breathes. Here's a visual representation of lots of silence and the punch of just a little bit of "sound"—

Central Park, New York City

Central Park, New York City