Friday, January 24, 2014
I think that this is my favorite viola-related expression mark. It appears in the Trio in One Movement by Arnold Bax, a piece I'm playing tomorrow evening at 7:30 at the Tarble Arts Center in Charleston, Illinois (admission is free, but the travel distance is probably a bit long for most Musical Assumptions readers). I assumed that it meant something like murmur, but I finally looked it up today and found I was totally wrong. The moral of the story? Always look up the expression mark, because it might really make a difference musically!
Here are some translation options:
I had to look up "po-faced," which, being a British expression, might be more on the mark than some of the others. World Wide Words mentions in their entry that Constant Lambert first used the expression in Music Ho! in 1934. (Lambert was rather despicable person, but he was good friends with Bax. I have always like Lambert's music.)