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I play this piece myself from time to time (nowhere near at this speed or accuracy, of course).  It’s very probably, well no, definitively, about as post-classickal as I get, at least in terms of my own ivory-bashing.

Ol’ Felix has always struck me as one of the boys who could get away with being romantic without being so, how shall we say, self-conscious about it.  My favorite symphony of his is the Scottish, No. 3.  It’s as staring-into-the-surf-contemplating-Mankind’s-destiny as you like, but somehow doesn’t have the same gawd-help-us-ness of some other compositions of the time.  

Also, here (in the rondo) he displays what I have always thought of as the “Mendelssohn Imp,” an idea which I’m afraid I’ve never quite been able to put into words.  It’s a sort of energy, flighty and at the same time capable of shifting the planet’s orbit, if that makes sense.  Indeed, the best example of this Imp may be found in the scherzo from the incidental musick to A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  And yes, “Puckish” is the correct adjective.   Really, it’s quite chilling when you think about it.

I know that it’s anthropomorphizing the hell out of things, but nonetheless I simply cannot help smiling when listening to mockingbirds and catbirds together.  After all, they are related to each other, but each has such a very different aura about it.

I mean, on the one hand, Mr. Mocky flutes away as if he doesn’t give a single damn about anything, but is happy to sing just for the hell of it.  You can just imagine him, as George MacDonald Fraser might put it, with his hat on three hairs. 

On the other hand, Mr. Catbird seems to get himself cranked up in ever-tightening circles of frantic neuroticism.  This to the point where I often find myself in my best Jerry Seinfeld manner, saying, “What? What do you want? What can I get for you? What’s your problem?” 

As I say, anthro to a degree.  But amusing nonetheless.

* Who identified himself as such, and in what movie.  Enormous bonus points if you get it.

This morning, round about 8:30 or so, ol’ Robbo sauntered out to deal with the weeds that infested both the beds and the path of what he obstinately continues to think of as his garden.  Fortunately, it was a grey, cool, drizzly sort of day, which made said project considerably less of an ordeal. 

Nonetheless, at one point later on as she watched me moving about, Mrs. R called out from the deck, “You look like you’re about eighty!”

“Funny,” I replied, “Because I feel like I’m about ninety!” 

Anyhoo, just as I was contemplating stopping to take in a spot of lunch, the eldest gel sauntered out.  She explained that her friend’s father was about to arrive to pick her up for a sleep-over and she wanted to come out and say goodbye.

“Wha-?” I said, “Isn’t that all supposed to start later on?”

Daaaa-ad,” she replied, “It’s past 4:30 already!”

My face fell as I contemplated the tempus that had evidently fugited.   For her part, the gel found the whole thing to be extremely funny.  The punch line is that I am not anywhere near done with the things that need to be done.

So it’s early Mass tomorrow and another day laboring in the fields.   After all, if I don’t do it, who will?  (And ain’t that just a humongous metaphor for something or other?)


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May 2011