Saturday, October 27, 2007

Noise, and the rest

When I showed up in the pit of the State Theater tonight for NYCO's performance of Cav/Pag, piccolo player, Kathleen Nester, asked me, "Did you see your blog mentioned in The New Yorker?"

Extrapolation, enthusiasm, etc.

The mention was oblique, but it was there. Click here to count the ways. This self-publishing venture has changed my life in ways little and big and the attention Maestro Ross has given my little corner of the blogateria has been meaningful.

In fact, here, the many are united. No one is blogging about classical music for the wrong reasons! We love it. We love to play it, we love to hear it, we love to write it, we know, oh how we know, our lives would not be as rich without music. We want everyone to love it the way we do, and so, we write, and we self-publish.

I remember playing the 2nd oboe part to Brahms' second piano concerto with the Northwestern Symphony Orchestra when I was a high school student. In Brahms I first heard the promise of something larger than small town Michigan where I grew up. I followed that promise to Juilliard and New York City.

Extrapolation, enthusiasm, etc.

Tonight at dinner between matinée and evening operas, my friends—civilians—talked about their upcoming vacations. I don't take vacations. I have a day off every few months, no more than a handful a year, really, but what would I do with time away from music. A musician's life is full of questions, strains, uncertainty, and utter splendor. There are riches unaccountable by accountants. There are secrets musicians know.

The very best ones will share.

"To A Friend Contemplating Her Biography Of Hawthorne" by Richard Howard

“We were not, it is true, so well acquainted
at college, that I can plead
an absolute right to inflict
my ‘twice-told’ tediousness
upon you; but I have been glad of your
success in literature,
and in more important matters.”
What had been—

what could have been, I wonder—
“more important” to Hawthorne, sequestered for
a dozen years in Salem,
struggling to make himself a writer? And for
his initially cautious
correspondent, the fatally fluent
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
savoring the first of those dread successes:
for him, too, could there have been
matters more important than literature?

And then of course I wonder
about you and me—about all of our tribe,
whom Montaigne identified
without contempt as la gent écrivassière,
secreted so managably,
as luck would have it, in this apprehensive
and inadvertent city—
whether it is something of the same kind
that, every dreaming midnight
and every waking dawn, glows (glowers) for us
like the radium on our clocks:
matters more important than literature.

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