Monday, February 13, 2012

An Impromptu a day ...

A new Twitter friend of mine sent me a link to this cool article by David Dubal about the happiness that comes from playing the piano. It is in a magazine called New Criterion.

I like David Dubal's opinions. I also like that quote at the beginning, "Play the piano daily and stay sane."

Just because of that, just now I went and played the piano! That is a painting of me up above, entertaining myself and my friends.

I played a Schubert impromptu, the one in triplets that has you sailing all over the piano, because I am getting my technique back into shape. Then I did that cool Beethoven sonata Op. 101. I did the first movement once through and then went through it again. It is funny, do that and the second time is so much better. The second time, I hit that last chord and let it fade out and then I thought: You cannot improve on perfection, you know?

But one thing in this story, this New Criterion story by David Dubal, that I really love is when he trots out that old saw -- that is a word I love, saw -- about how anything worth doing is worth doing well. And he says he sees things differently.

He writes: "Like Chesterton ...

... I feel that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing even badly."

I think he is right! Even if you are having a bad day and really goof up that Schubert, at least you are trying, and as Dubal puts it you "commune" with Schubert.

Schubert, as he looks down on you, probably does not care that you are playing his piece badly! Heck, he could not play his pieces himself.

He loves that you are thinking of him! And that you are taking time out of your day to give a, well, impromptu performance of his Impromptu.

Dubal has a lot of other stuff I like in that story including about how homes should have pianos instead of TVs. My brother George often says that. Howard and I love having pianos all over the house because our friends play them. Howard calls the Steinway the home entertainment system.

The story goes on and on which I love. What is the hurry, you know? It makes me want to play the piano a lot more than I am doing and it also makes me want to play reductions of Mahler symphonies and Wagner operas.

A great declaration:

"Almost everyone who plays the piano as a child and quits wishes they had stuck with it. But the present is here. Take charge. Go to concerts. Buy recordings."

I love that. The present is here.

Take charge!



    This link goes to the Naxos Music Library, a wonderful classical music streaming service -- it gives access to over 50,000 CDs on a multitude of labels, such as Chandos, EMI, Hungaroton, etc. It's a great way to get instant access to a piece you "just gotta hear" right away.

  2. And below is a link to some of David Dubal's radio programs from the 1970s, originally broadcast on WNCN-FM out of N.Y.C.:

    And the below link goes to webcasts of his current show on WWFM, "The Piano Matters":