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It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!
In February this year, I started what has become an ongoing series of at home, in studio, recordings during the pandemic lockdown while concert venues are closed. My intention was to share music that made me feel better, gave me some "respite" when I played it. I originally posted them just to my Facebook artist page. I am now posting there as well as Vimeo, YouTube and... here.
The presentation format has evolved over the past 10 months to what you can see and hear in this video. This recording is representative of the sort of presentation and playing I have done in private concerts as well as in larger venues. I often play for audiences who may have only a passing acquaintance with "classical music", and my goal, aside from bring respite, is to grow the audience for the sort of music that I love. * * * * * * * * * * * * * These comments extracted from my posting of this video on FB, Vimeo and YouTube.
"Music starts at 1:11]
This week’s Respite offering – “Hermit Thrush at Eve” by American composer Amy Beach, also known as Mrs. H.H. A Beach, as she signed many of her manuscripts, is one of two pieces she wrote after hearing a hermit thrush sing when she was in residence at the Mac Dowell Colony. Unlike those of us less gifted, Beach did not stop at admiring the pleasing bird sounds. Rather, from what I have been able to determine, she listened carefully to the calls, wrote them out in standard music notation, and then…because she was a true genius, she made magic happen, and produced her two Thrush pieces.
From what I could see in a web search, “Hermit Thrush at Eve” has become a popular piece, and Beach is no longer one of the #unknowncomposersworthhearing she used to be. She is well on her way to becoming a “PreviouslyUnknownComposerWorthHearingNowKnown”. This week I add my own rendition of the piece to the growing number of performances available.
According to her biography at the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200153246/, “She became the first American woman to achieve widespread recognition as a composer of large-scale works with orchestra”. Her Wikipedia biography goes a bit further and states, “She was the first successful American female composer of large-scale art music”. I add to this rather distinguished set of credentials my observation that she must have been a formidable pianist as evidenced by her skillful writing for the instrument
...I hope you find this piece and my playing of it worthy, and they bring you, as they did me, some much needed “Respite”...