Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Viola Sonata No. 2 "La Grenouillère"

Michael and I read two stories by Guy de Maupassant that have action that takes place in a night spot on the Seine known as "La Grenouillère."

The most famous image of "La Grenouillère" is a painting by Claude Monet:

My musical mind went (literally) into the swamp, and I thought it would be fun to write a piece for viola and piano that would incorporate frog sounds and folk songs about frogs.

. . . et voilà.

You can listen here, and the music is available on this page of the IMSLP.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Glimmers of Hope

It must have been fifteen years ago that our daughter went on a school trip to hear the Chicago Symphony. She was very excited that the program included a piece by Melinda Wagner, who, to her young and impressionable mind was like her mom: a composer who was a woman. Rachel listened carefully and took notes on the whole program (her mother was also a music critic at the time). She was a critical listener, with a distinct bias towards her mother's music, and she loved the Wagner. It was her favorite piece on the program.

The Chicago Symphony continues to commission music from Melinda Wagner, and the Chicago Symphony continues to perform music by Melinda Wagner.

Be like the Chicago Symphony.

Yesterday The New York Times published Michaela Baranello's encouraging piece about Florence Price. The University of Arkansas library has a whole archive of her unperformed work. Perhaps it is time for the big American orchestras to lead the way and do what the title of the Times article says about welcoming Price into the canon. The Times can do its part, but it is ultimately up to the people who make programming choices for the major orchestras. They could share some of the musical wealth that Florence Price left us, and "lesser" orchestras might follow suit. The handful of pieces I know are terrific. I would certainly like to hear more.

Douglas Shadle discusses the problem eloquently, and offers some sensible solutions.

To people who write about music: be like Michaela Baranello and Douglas Shadle

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Taxes for Orchestral Musicians

The new tax bill presents more even serious problems for our profession than I anticipated. Daniel Braden's opinion piece in The Morning Call explains the problems clearly.

A Lot of Wisdom from David Dubal

David Dubal's 2012 "Let's tickle the Ivories," is great reading for any musician, and essential reading for anyone who has a piano in the house, or knows anyone with one. Eliane Lust made the text a public post on Facebook, so you can read it through the link below.

"...but forget about the world and save yourself." :-)

February, 2012
Let's tickle the ivories by David Dubal

On the...

Posted by Eliane Lust on Sunday, February 4, 2018