Once upon a time, in the halcyon days before September 2012, I thought of myself more as a historian and wannabe musicologist than as a commentator on never-ending orchestral lockouts.
Well, it’s been a year, but my heart’s still in the whole history thing. I’ve ignored it and I’ve missed it. I’m not giving up analysis of orchestral politics – by any means – but I do want to try to shoehorn some history onto the blog.
Consequently I’m embarking on a new series…
So what are Lark Notes? Great question. I’m not even 100% sure yet. (Let’s hear it for flying by the seat of your pants!! Woohoo!) I do know that the Notes will be my exploration of a particular musical topic, and that exploration might come in the form of essays, Youtube videos, interviews…who knows! We’ll have to see how the Notes evolve as time goes by. For the foreseeable future, they’ll likely tie into the programs of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra.
The meat of the Musicians’ November program is Brahms 2. Listening to or performing a Brahms symphony is always an event. So to celebrate, over the next week, I’ll be posting a three part essay giving some bare-bones background about the extraordinary relationship between Brahms, the Schumanns, and the symphonic form.
I also made a homemade Brahms video…just for you! (And like any proper homemade video, it’s complete with barking Sheltie!) In it I answer the question “what’s your favorite moment of Brahms 2?”
I would looooove to hear what your favorite moment is! Even if you can’t make it to next week’s show, tell me what your favorite moment is and why, whether in comment or video form (but video form would be awesome! especially if you’re a musician and can demonstrate on an instrument! cough cough!).
And if that question stymies you, try posting a video or writing a comment about something else Brahms related…whether it be your first experience with Brahms, or what side you’d take in the War of the Romantics, or whether, when it comes to Clara Schumann, you’re Team Robert or Team Johannes. The dorky possibilities are endless! Just leave a link in the comment section to your creation.
Hopefully the Brahms Lark Notes will provide a jumping off point for my readers to learn and listen more. My ultimate dream is that the Lark Notes enrich your concert experience at Ted Mann Concert Hall next week. (Do you have your tickets yet?) (What about for the December shows?)
Anyway. Now you guys know where I’ve been: I’ve been vacationing in mid-nineteenth-century Germany. The trip was a good one, full of music I love. And very happily, I managed the entire journey without running into any incompetent orchestra managers from Bournemouth! I hope you forgive my temporary absence, but I needed – repeat: needed – to take this trip to nourish my soul after a very difficult (albeit oddly rewarding) year. Writing about the music I love may not attract the same number of eyeballs as scandalous -gate stories, but it does keep me from going crazy. And in these circumstances? There’s definitely something to be said about not going crazy.