Monday, November 9, 2009

Mozart's Fantasia

The two things converged yesterday—a quiet day and a piano. So, I played through some music on the stand, and when I got to Mozart's Fantasia, I thought this is something I have to record.

What was I thinking? I suppose I was thinking that this music is fun to play even if you play it poorly. It varies from loud to soft and loud, and it slips into slow passages after some punky fast phrases. There are chords and runs and the satisfaction that comes from pounding on the keyboard now and then. It's got it all. Some of it is like stirring cream with a wooden spoon; some of it is like smashing something with a hammer; and some of it is like tucking in your arms and rolling down a grassy hill, screaming until you reach the bottom.

When I first learned this thing in high school, my poor old teacher had a sort of rickety grand piano, and when I used the sustaining pedal too ferociously, the thing fell off. I sat there on the bench apologizing with my teacher stretched out on the floor trying to put his piano back together, grumbling at my ineptitude and winded from the physical exertion. It's an image I'll never forget, it was so scarring.

If that teacher were still alive, this rendition of Mozart's Fantasia would kill him. It kills ME. Let's see what it does to you—and I'm sorry: NOTE: an error has occurred, and this recording is temporarily missing.

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