Tag Archives: bach

Spiritual Rachmaninov – 11 Days to go and still counting

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I have attended two live concerts on the previous consecutive nights: on Friday, a piano recital by Peter Seivewright at St. James Church, Clacton. Ear-opening transcriptions of Bach, including a Bach transcription by Rachmaninov, where we felt one soul taking over another soul, through inspiring music, as if a deserted beach on The Isle of the Dead was inhabited by a meticulously pixelated Well-Tempered Clavier in a film called ‘The Piano’.
I am not usually keen on Gershwin, but a transcription of the whole of his Piano Concerto was played passionately by Peter without a score to follow, with what turned out to be some engagingly characteristic Seivewright armkicks, and this music became something else altogether, something the same, something different, something better than how I remember the Concerto to have once been. The acoustics of the church and resonance of the piano itself were wonderful, too. He also played some exciting Jazz Etudes by Peter Thorne.

Last night, I attended nearby Stoke-by-Nayland church, as part of the Roman River Music Festival, to hear Shostakovich’s 8th String Quartet played by Benjamin Nabarro, Emma Parker, Yuri Zhislin and Gemma Rosefield. The church setting and the music’s constructive despair were sobering as well as stimulating, ingeniously following, as this work did, a sort of unprogrammed retrocausal encore in the shape of a very engagingly played Schubert’s Quartettsatz. I love Schubert. One day I hope to see a live performance of Shostakovich’s 15th quartet which contains about eight movements, I recall, all of them adagio!
The second half of this concert was a rare live performance, by candlelight, of Rachmaninov’s Vespers by the Armonico Consort directed by Christopher Monks. What a privilege for the crammed-pack audience! A spiritual journey by an ostensibly un-spiritual composer, 75 minutes of dark bliss, a running complex minimalism, as it were, that still rings in my ears, the voices steeple pure, deep oaken and redolent with peace under-threaded with deities. I predict none of us present at this occasion will be the same person again after such an experience; changed for the better when set against the relativities of our diurnal existence. In the same way as I understand Rachmaninov to have been, I feel a non-religious spirituality, as I hope my own lifetime fiction work has attested in its small way.
Now back to the Clacton horizons.

A link or two to some of my other music meanderings: https://nullimmortalis.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/war-requiem/#comment-14198

Today’s Skylines (the Prepared Groyne Sonata continues):
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1Q84

Just started this book by Haruki Murakami. I am sure this is going to be a landmark read of mine in the autumn of my years, the autumn of this year.

I am very intrigued straightaway at the prominence of SINFONIETTA by Leoš Janáček.

1Q84 seems to be an exponent of the new found genre: Classical Horror.

[All my other real-time book reviews linked from HERE] (31/10/11)

I have a well-shaped head and thinning hair:

avatar much better than Sean Connery’s. (31/10/11 – an hour later)

IN MEDIA RES – FIRST BOOK: There is something powerfully powerless about this book and its twin intertwining  movements or moons of person-music. I’d say ‘hypnotic’, too, but I guess from the book’s blurb, this has been said of it before. And I am anothing if not a neologist. I’ll think of the right word later. (1 Nov 11)

IN MEDIA RES – SECOND BOOK: “Emergency situations aside, you should never handle or hand over or carry a gun that has even one bullet in it. And whenever you see a gun, you should treat it as loaded until you know for sure otherwise. Guns are made to kill people. You can never be too careful with them.” Like this book itself. Chekhov’s Rule. Or Pascal’s Wager? (4/11/11)

“This pain is unbearable. At times – at certain times – the pain deepens dramatically, as if it has a direct link to the center of the earth.” (5/11/11)

A FEW PAGES BEFORE ENDING BOOK TWO: Aomame on her moon-balcony (not a balcony on the moon as in Joe Pulver’s Orphan Palace but a balcony from which to see the moon(s)): her last balcony now lost? (7/11/11)

Just heard on the radio news that a large asteroid is due to pass today between the moon and the earth (the first for two centuries). Is this the second moon from 1Q84 – making this 2Q11?  (8/11//11 – 7.0 a.m GMT)

Later Edit: 零 Cone Zero not Q for 0

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IN MEDIA RES: READING THIRD BOOK OF 1Q84

PROUST & Me: http://www.mathewfriley.com/2010/09/df-lewis-the-book-i-would-like-to-be-buried-with/ (10 Nov 11)

END: these novels bememorise the reader. Here and in Proust. (my promised neologism)

A mesmerising, moon-magnetising plot that compelled me – sparely, repetitively  – to read and read … Esso Tiger, phones in 1q84 that by their ring tell you who’s calling. This  novel, too, by osmosis. (17/11/11)

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