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It's comfort food time!

February 2, 2009 at 1:36 AM


Interesting piano trio rehearsal the other day.  We are currently preparing the Beethoven c minor piano trio for a concert and decided to work only on the slow movement for the first couple of hours of rehearsal. We always plan carefully how we wish to rehearse and stop to evaluate and the decision was taken to not talk unless absolutely necessary but just play through each variation over and over until we all felt it was enough.  Just playing, listening adapting and searching for common ground.   I had to stop the proceedings halfway through the fourth variation.  There is a most beautiful cello solo in innumerable flats. The cellist, who is a very talented amateur, was playing it enharmonically as though sharps were okay. This is one thing a cannot bear because I am certain composers have specific ideas about the  color of keys.   It proved extremely difficult to shift the cellist perception until I played a g flat drone under her solo for the duration. The new sound of the different key was –completely – different.  It was quite astonishing.
After two hours we decided to work on the Debussy trio. This starts with a very calm, flowing piano solo. The pianist, who is normally brilliant, seemed unable to find a line and was wallowing all over the place. The cellist and I exchanged puzzled glances and then the violin came in with the same theme and lo, I was all over the place too, even played a few wrong notes in a piece I know blindfolded as a rule. Then the cellist came in with the same solo and it was though she was fumbling to remember a single note on the fingerboard. We all stopped and burst out laughing as we realized that the intensity of the Beethoven had not only drained us mentally and emotionally but put us on completely the wrong planet for attempting Debussy. We did the only thing possible- lay down on the floor and pigged out on chocolate which the pianist had been smart enough to pack in her extra large handbag Told you she was smart…

From Drew Lecher
Posted on February 2, 2009 at 4:38 AM

 Great intonation—that wonderful mystery…

From Emily Grossman
Posted on February 2, 2009 at 8:11 AM

It figures everyone's pigging out these days, what with me on a diet still...

From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on February 2, 2009 at 11:31 PM

Sometimes there's nothing else to do than stop and change our minds. Just be sure to not put chocolate on your violin after! Chocolate and rosin is not a good mix!


From Royce Faina
Posted on February 3, 2009 at 12:33 AM

Moments like this are priceless gems in the treasure hold of our memories......

BTW, it was after 4am this morning in Wyoming (I took the day off from work, I usualy begin at 4 every morning) when the news mentioned the volcano 90 miles from Tokyo dusting Tokyo streets. I thought of you, and hope all is well. I have not looked on Google to see where you are and I'm sure others where thinking of you also.

Kind Regards,


From Stephen Brivati
Posted on February 3, 2009 at 1:24 AM


Royce, thanks for your kind remarks. The volcano is called Asama and is much closer to Tokyo than me.  No problem. its not a big eruption as no lava is being discharged. I worry more about Yellowstone....

It was an extremely funny event and I tried to represent how we went from seriousness to farce in order to give people a bit of a laugh.  Why anyone would think it required abusing me I don`t know but it is poeple like you who can just enjoy things for their own sake that make writing worthwehile.



From Royce Faina
Posted on February 3, 2009 at 2:58 AM

If ever... you are in Wyoming I get off work at 12:30 pm. I work Mon-Fri. we will have coffee at Coal Creek. wednesdays is open Mic for anyone to sing/play.

Your Friend.....Royce

From Elinor Estepa
Posted on February 3, 2009 at 3:26 AM



Buri--just a note to let you know that I always enjoy your blogs and all your  inputs and wisdom in this site. Your recommended books and reading alike are more than helpful!

Thank's much!

Be safe always!

From Tom Holzman
Posted on February 3, 2009 at 7:58 PM

Speaking of comfort food:

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