con brio

When I first thought about this post, I was going to offer some thoughts about my trip to Las Vegas earlier in the month for a music conference…then I got started updating my web site and noticed that the last week or so has actually been rather busy compositionally.

It’s actually been just over a week since I finished my Suite on Norwegian Folk Tunes for my cousin Michael. It’s been a long time coming, relatively speaking. I generally work quite fast, but this piece has been on its way for a couple of months. The link above gives some info on the piece, but no mp3 as yet. That will probably wait until Michael performs the work on February 5 in San Francisco. In the meantime I’ll work on an electronic version.

Lst Tuesday was particularly busy. I’d thought about writing a prelude for tomorrow’s worship service, and relating it to the piece our children’s choir was singing. Out of that came a neat Variations on Kumbaya. I love the slight African-inspired feel, with a rich composite rhythm as pedal and both hands–each playing fairly simple lines–combine their different but related rhythms. I’ll have an mp3 soon (I’d like to get a performance recording, rather than relying on an audio version of the notated score).

That was Tuesday morning. In the evening I decided to see if I could come up with a piece that combined two hymns I’d been asked to play at the end of a memorial service I was playing the next day. The combination seemed unpromising. When I’d thought about it, and messed around a bit, I ended up with Quodlibet on Olivet and Battle Hymn. It seemed to work, but I wouldn’t know until I had some time on the organ bench.

I basically got in two rehearsal sessions the next day before the memorial at 13:30 hours. The piece worked; people were happy. The rest of the week was filled with rehearsals…and one session of golf from which, 24 hours later, I’m still feeling muscles I’d forgotten I had!

So musically it was a good week. It was also rather nice dining out Wednesday with Marianne and my Dad before Marianne’s rehearsal, and going to a party last night celebrating Wolfie’s 250th birthday (that’s Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart…). A crab feast at church tonight, a concert to attend at Grace Cathedral tomorrow afternoon, followed by a quick return to church for Annual Meeting round out the social calendar. The beginning of our weekend (now pushed back to 8:00 pm–20 hours–on Sunday) can’t come too soon.

But with Mozart, music-making, and time spent with loved ones–it’s all music to my ears.

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