Back from vacation. With some news about my composing.
But first, our annual trip — three weeks this time — to the Yorkshire Dales. In the north of England. More sheep than people. Bucolic and gorgeous, but also offers long walks, sometimes over wild terrain. No matter how wild, there always are sheep. Which shepherds have to round up, in all weather, all seasons, rain, snow, freezing cold. Not easy work! As we’ve come to appreciate.
Can’t resist sharing this photo of Rafa — who’ll be four in October — striding through the hills. With a stick he purloined from me! Walking with a stick, on steep hills, is a convenience for me, not a necessity. So I didn’t mind that Rafa took it. I did suggest that maybe he shouldn’t use the stick to make holes in a place where flowers were growing. And he answered me wonderfully:
I just made a LITTLE hole.
I just made a hole so the mouse has a way down.
Send the kid to law school!
Now about composing. Next spring, on April 14, I’ll be presenting an evening of my music at Strathmore. More about that to come. But here’s a preview, two pieces that will be on the program, as performed at a surprise birthday party I staged for my wife. Both pieces were written for her. One is a song for voice and piano, to a Rilke text. The other is a string quartet, which I wrote in 2001 as a surprise birthday present. Brought musicians to our apartment to surprise her with it.
And last month I surprised her again with performances of both pieces. The string quartet has been done a number of times by the Fine Arts Quartet. But no one ever sang the song before.
Here are links, to the really fine performances Anne heard at her party. They can serve as an introduction to my music, for those who haven’t heard it.
“Ich bin, du Ängstlicher.”
Marlissa Hudson, soprano
George Peachey, piano
Quartet for Anne
Entcho Todorov, violin 1
Hiroko Naguchi, violin 2
Jonathan Dinklage, viola
Peter Sachon, cello