Musical Mumblings

Clara Schumann is rumored to have had an affair with Johannas Brahms, an idea pooh-poohed by many. Just look at the size and shape of that guy, yes? And yet, he—like many of the rest of us—looked quite different as a young man. He was said to be quite handsome and dashing as a younger. Ah yes, and a musician too. What better than the electricity of sexual attraction to someone who has everything going for him? Add to that that her husband, while a grand musician and composer, was a bit off the beam. Playing at A-flat, so to speak.

Robert Schumann did create many beautiful things, including some of my favorite piano pieces. Perhaps I’ve said this before, if so, apologies: When questioned about where the music or inspiration came from, he replied it was in his mind. He just had to write it down. The questioner said how marvelous that must be. Good God no! He replied. How would you like that *****###### in your head all the time. You can’t get rid of it!

Poor man, it did indeed drive him crazy. And then there’s the incident of the hand. Pianists like to have an octave-and-beyond reach for chords. The farther the better. Robert therefore bound his hand(s?) with his fingers stretched out while he slept in an attempt to improve his reach. In doing so he crippled them. Imagine the horror—a pianist who cannot use his hands to play properly—and at his own doing. Eventually Schumann died in a mental asylum, although he had—again, like more than one musician/composer—attempted suicide more than once.  

Rachmaninoff is reputed to have the largest hands measured with a span of a 12th… C – G’ in easy playing, not just stretching. That explains some of his chord progressions. He too, as with many musicians, went off the beam now and again, especially suffering from depression. To resume his career at one point he consulted a hypnotist who seems to have benefited his return to the concert stage.

I find it puzzling why many people ask creatives—writers, artists, composers,—where they get their ideas. Such an odd question, and one impossible to answer. Let it suffice to say it’s many things, not the least of which is craft—after the inspiration—work, work, work.

And no, not everyone who creates goes crazy or kills herself. The demons land where they must.

Posted by Classic FM

Conductor Marta Gardolinska: Our jobs are similar to those of sports people’s high pressure and physical strength is needed…”

Breath, to breathe, to exhale…

And then somewhat returned from the semi-dead. Oof duh!

I have been in a penitent huddle with myself. The misery of Asthma & ever fluctuating temperatures. Between the sofa shuffle and the O2 misery of mind over matter, I breathe. I did not consider pain or inconvenience or emergency rooms when I smoke smoke smoked that cigarette. And maybe it’s not even all my fault. And you know what? I don’t think it matters one whit. It is what it is. The return is slow, but on the way!


Posted by Classical FM

And I also don’t think that Ludie was sloppy, just that he couldn’t quite get it all out quickly enough. (Maybe no one told him to breathe through it?)



Once Again…

…obsession takes hold. This is a photo of Rainbow Lorikeets that was posted on the Bing background/desktop photo. I wanted to clip the single parakeet that is looking at us, sitting on top of the branch. As a result, I have missed two regularly scheduled appointments, haven’t done any writing, and was unable to achieve the objective as intended.


And yet, and still, I’ve learned a great deal about MS-OneNote and Clipper, (no, they are not the same as it turns out) a great deal about Bing, and once more wondered about my control of self. I guess the latter is called self-control, but I’m not sure. This doesn’t exactly feel like that. I think self-control relates to the ability to stop before entering the path. (Which I can do, if planned.) Once on the path itself, it may be impossible to stop before completion of the goal.

Maybe this is why we find after death, a composer’s sheets are black from not washing. This might have been Debussy but I’m not certain. And why Beethoven walked into a cafe, ordered lunch, then left without eating. A while later he came back in and ordered lunch again. I don’t know if he ate that time, or if the lunch was the same as before. Those more interesting details seem always neglected. Like: did they charge him twice? Did he do it so often that they kept his order and just reheated it? What?

And then, my inability to control my driving forces is no longer humorous. Well, maybe a little. I’m sure I could manage if something a little more rewarding were offered at a stopping point. At least I sincerely believe so.