Monday, April 21, 2014


Some time ago I observed that people tend to value the spontaneous because they believe that to be more sincere. As long as something appears to be not to have been particularly premeditated, it has more value for a large number of us than something that seems to be well artistically manicured. In which case, there are a number of recordings on Pianonoise right now that ought to get kudos for not having the pale cast of premeditated thought sicklied over them.

That's because I often just do not have any doggone time.

The present recording, presented for your listening pleasure, is something that I just set eyes on this morning [which technically was last Thursday when I wrote this!]. I sight read it once, then turned on the microphone and played it twice. Then I discovered that yours truly had brilliantly failed to connect one of the microphone cables to the microphone itself, which, as genius as that sort of nonconformity might appear, nevertheless does not give us very good stereo. The microphone does not appreciate genius, in other words. So I plugged in the cable and did two more takes the regular way.

By this point I was on play-throughs numbers four and five, which I suppose made me an expert, but I still hadn't known the piece for more than twenty minutes by the time I was finished. In circumstances like that, one's reaction to a piece of music is just that--a gut reaction. The interpretation has to be, well, nearly spontaneous.

Hoping that you have some sort of way to keep chronological time with this recording, I'm going to point out something that happens at the 27 second mark: a slight hesitation on my part, and a flagging of the tempo for the next few measures. This is because I found it a little odd that Mr. Telemann was taking this little harmonic excursion. It seemed as though the music were leading us in one direction and then, without really preparing us for it, he decided to look at some harmonic flowers by the side of the road. So I pointed this out by taking my time there also.

I could be wrong; also I could change my mind about it later. But I didn't have any time to reconsider, so, if you are into honest reactions to things you haven't had time to think about, here you go. And at the moment, I still think it was the right thing to do. The question, I suppose, is does this interpretive decision get the point across adequately. And was this Mr. Telemann's point to begin with. I can't ask him since he's been dead for 250 years.

Because of my sense of how harmonic language is constructed and what constitutes the normal and the abnormal, it seemed to me there was a little surprise on the page waiting for me when I got there. And for all of the words I'm throwing at it, the result is really more emotional than logical. It is, in a word: surprise! You weren't expected that, were you?

Which is one of things that makes life fun.


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