Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
One of Ol’ Robbo’s long-term (i.e., post-retirement) goals is to get back into serious keyboard work. You see, I took piano lessons all the way up through the end of high school – indeed, my long-term instructor suggested that I might consider applying to a conservatory – but never did much beyond that other than sight-reading (primarily Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart). I can hack along well enough in this practice to (at times) amuse myself, but increasingly I long for the satisfaction to really nail a piece, working it up to performance calibre. (Part of my motivation, I’ll grant, is the fact that the Middle Gel – an astonishingly lovely soprano – has already sung Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Washington National Cathedral, Notre Dame, Chartres, and other pro venues, but another part is the pure desire for myself to produce real Art.)
Anyhoo, two works currently on my radar are both by Johann Sebastian “Johnny” Bach. One is his 13th Sinfonia in A-minor:
The other is the rayther nightmarishly chromatic Gigue from his 5th English Suite:
I only have the time to run through these (0r any other pieces) a couple times per week these
days years. Sometimes my efforts are truly gratifying – in the “any landing you can walk away from is a good one” sense. Sometimes, they leave me swearing heavily . (One never knows whether Terpsichore is in the house or not.) But someday I would like to be able to sit down and toss them off for pure pleasure.
UPDATE: First, mea culpa about my description of Middle Gel’s achievements. On re-reading, it sounds a bit too much like Braggy McBragFace who Brags. That was certainly not my intention. I just love the musick so much and am in such awe of the Gel’s achievements. Indeed, just before writing, I had been talking with her about next week’s fall concert, something to which I am much looking forward. She mentioned that her madrigal group would be doing some Renaissance works by Claudio Monteverdi and Thomas Morley, among others, and then she started quoting some German text. I suppose I got a bit overwhelmed by teh awesome.
Second, I forgot to mention the surprising development that the Eldest Gel has suddenly become interested in singing herself. She’s always had musickal talent, but also is a natural alto (voices run fairly deep among the wimmins in Mrs. Robbo’s family), but had always shied away before. However, she signed up for her college choir and has been enjoying it immensely. (We got to see them in action this past weekend.) Indeed, although she’s only in the lowest, all voices welcome, group this year, she is talking of taking voice lessons in order to advance to the upper echelons.