Players/Presenters: Nico Brett, Maggie Frick, Carol Wazlavek
Listeners: Ed Ewing, Fran Richards, Tom Slavicek, Shoko Tanaka, Utako Tanigawa, Kelly Brett, Jason Brett
Nico started the afternoon by describing the characters he envisions while playing Chopin’s Grande Valse Brilliante. He was inspired to learn the piece when he saw pianist Michael Schneider introduce it in a similar way. The introduction really drew him into the piece as a member of the audience, and, although the piece is still a work in progress for him, Nico wanted to practice passing the same experience on to others. There was a consensus that knowing the interpretation did indeed add to the listeners experience.
Next, Maggie performed the Theme and 11 of the variations from Mendelssohn’s Variations Serieuses, two more than last time. A difficult piece both musically and technically, she’s making excellent progress and hopes to add the last six variations and play through the whole piece by the next musicale. Maggie also shared a technique her teacher gave her to train her muscles to remain relaxed during a fast passage.
Lastly, Carol explained about the stories for Chopin’s Ballades. Theoretically there was one poem associated with each ballade, but Chopin was unclear about his intention. She found six stories to attempt to match up to the four ballades, with no consensus as to which story or stories belong(s) with which piece. There was time to detail the story for the first ballade as well as a second story that was supposed to be associated with the fourth but doesn’t seem to be a good fit. There wasn’t time to detail anymore of the stories for today, perhaps the mystery can be resolved in a future musicale!
The day ended with a discussion about favorite musicians. Utako invited everyone to continue to share their thoughts about their favorite musicians on the GMG blog. All in all, it was a lovely hour spent in good company.