Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday morning low-hanging fruit

On Mondays I am sometimes going to let myself blog about stuff that is easy and not much work. Ahem.

Warhorses are warhorses for a reason. That is what I was thinking yesterday listening to the slow movement of Mozart's 21st piano concerto.

I have heard this piece millions of times, of course. It is totally lazy listening on my part, listening to it yet again. I should not be listening to it again. I should be listening to something new, blah blah blah. But I could not help it.

I think I could listen to this piece 300 times in a row and I would not get sick of it. I could be in a jail cell and they could play it at me 24/7 stupidly thinking it was going to torture me and I would love it.

There are so many wonderful things about this piece that never grow old. The calm, accepting bass line. And that moment near the end when the piano hits that high F and then drops into those final trills. I cannot listen to this piece in the car because I just have to close my eyes at that point.

Here is our friend Dinu Lipatti playing the piece. He does not give that high F the assertive, declarative feeling I like but that is a matter of taste. I have my deeply personal feelings about that high F and I am sure Dinu Lipatti had his.

Here is Alicia de Larrocha. That is a picture of Alicia de Larrocha above sitting in a bar. I just found it on Google. Isn't the Internet wonderful?

Darn, I love Alicia de Larrocha but this performance sounds a little anemic to me. I do not know what it is. When you love pieces you are fussy about them, is all I can think. Either that or the fact that it is Monday morning.

But what a balance Mozart strikes in this piece! It is so beautiful but at the same time so sorrowing, somehow. Like life!

Back to the 21st Piano Concerto. I never saw that Swedish movie, "Elvira Madigan," it got the nickname from and I do not know anyone who has. Well, wait, I think my mother has. I think she told me that. Other than that, does anyone know anyone who has seen that movie? But the concerto is stuck with that nickname forever.

I am kind of glad I never saw it.

Music like this should stand on its own.

1 comment:

  1. As great as she is, and she is (even though retired), Alicia DeLarrocha is not the ideal Mozart pianist for my tastes. Still, a critic once made the perceptive point that she handles the vocal elements in his concertos beautifully. I'm more interested nowadays in the few pianists that will embellish in period style, but it takes real nerve to do it...