Yesterday I read an article in the Washington Post
about the concert pianist Martha Argerich. It was written last December right before she was to received a Kennedy Center Honor.
She is a fascinating woman. Her life is chaotic, sleeping until two p.m. and practicing the piano until the wee hours of the morning, when she practices at all. Her children would be seen sleeping under the piano.
Ms. Argerich has a photographic memory and only needs to hear a piece once and can then play it perfectly.
This may or may not be true. Non musicians are always trying to wrap famous musicians in sensationalist auras of genius. Otherwise they probably would not be so interesting to read about.
I'm not sure I could live around someone whose day is that unstructured.
It's also depressing to know that some people can memorize instantly. Rosa Levine, Van Cliburn's teacher, explained her method of memorizing music. She went out for a walk to the park, reading the musical work she was going to perform. By the time she returned to the house, it was memorized.
Little old me struggles to memorize a single page in a week. Then I must daily reinforce what I have previously learned in addition to learning new material.
|People ask if you're fine, and you say that you're fine, but you're not really fine....|
Actually it depressed me to know that I am such a slow learner until I started practicing. Then I realized I didn't care because I love spending so much time learning music because it means I am surrounding myself with beautiful sounds all that much longer.
I hope you will enjoy listening to Argerich perform Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E miner Op. 11.
By the way, if you're wondering what the numbers and letters mean in a title of music. Piano is, of course, the instrument the musical work is written for. Concerto means that it is written for solo instrument and orchestra in Sonata Form ( Three separate songs or movements written in ABA, The first movement is fast, the second movement slow and the third fast again).
No. 1 means it is the first piano concerto Chopin wrote, he wrote it in the key of E miner and Opus 11 means it is the 11th work that Chopin has written for any instrument.
Maybe you found the above interesting, enlightening or boring, but nevertheless there it is and there it stays.
But this is a book review lest we forget:
The Last Word and Other Stories by Graham Greene
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Graham Greene is a relatively new discovery for me and I have come to enjoy his writing very much.
I read this book while flying to Colorado to visit my sister over Labor Day. This is a collection of short stories that range from a dystopian future to a psychological murder mystery. I will review just a few of the thirteen stories.
The Last Word is about a man who has lost his memory from an explosion due to some kind of war. He has been living the last twenty years alone and on bread. His neighbors are as suspicious of him as they are of each other. It is apparent that a totalitarian regime has been ruling the country.
One day, for some reason, he is escorted from his tiny apartment by a guard who takes him to the general. As the story progresses we find out who this lonely man is and why the dictator wants to see him.
This particular story shows the power of the Spiritual world and how no physical world can defeat it. There are many surprises and the ending brings a final surprise that enforces St. Paul's assertion, "Death, where is they sting? Grave where is they victory?"
The Lottery is about an Englishman who only visits out of the way places such as a tiny village in Mexico. While there he wins the state lottery which is quite a bit of money even by English standards. He doesn't want the money and is embarrassed that he should take money from such an impoverished province, so he donates it back to the state to use for good works. One can imagine the outcome or how the state defines, "good works".
Murder for the Wrong Reason is about a murder narrated by the Chief of Police. His conclusions about the perpetrator brings an unexpected conclusion.
Finally, An Appointment with the General is about an arrogant French journalist for a socialist magazine that goes to a Latin American country to interview the general who runs the country. She thinks she is going to intimidate the general by accusing him of not being "socialist enough". She finds the tables quickly turned on her.
All the stories are fascinating to read made all the more so by Graham's fluid writing. I recommend them to all fans of Greene's writing or people who would like to become fans of one of the last centuries foremost authors.
View all my reviews