Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Don't stop the Carnaval

Thinking about Mardi Gras today I got thinking of Carnaval, about the old tradition from back when most people really did do Lent and had to deprive themselves. The Carnaval -- literally carna-vale, goodbye to meat -- was your last hurrah before the lights went out.

Which made me think of Schumann's "Carnaval." A piece I have played!

There is this terrible story about how Schumann was suffering one of his bouts of insanity and his family had to go looking for him while the Carnaval was in progress. Imagine, all these people in masks and he was out there among them in his pajamas. His "dressing gown" as they put it in the biography I read. It is like something out of a strange movie.

On a brighter note there is this cool video up of a dozen great pianists playing "Paganini," the real finger-busting section of "Carnaval."


And there is more! "Carnaval" will be coming out of your ears.

Which is at it should be.

Because tomorrow the fun is over.

Catholicism ... it ain't no good life, but it's my life...