Saturday, November 07, 2009

Books and Music for a fall weekend

Right now, Pandora is playing a lovely selection of songs for me. I used Schubert's Die Schone Mullerin as a seed. All the resulting solos are written in a major key and are accompanied by the piano. Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Strauss and Beethoven are some of the composers whose works have been featured so far.

I've also finished reading Kazuo Ishiguro's latest book: Nocturne, Five Stories of Music and Nightfall. Ishiguro, like many renowned writers, explores sorrow, disappointment and failed ambition. However, the hopefulness and vitality of people still shines through.

In his last story, an American woman who abandoned her music studies at the age of 11 encounters an aspiring musician in Europe, whom she inspires to reach greater heights. She tells him that most cellists play a particular work of Rachmaninov's with joy; whereas for him "it's about the memory of a joyful time that's gone for ever."
It is this ability to convey melancholy, among other emotions from past remembrances, that makes a beautiful performance personal and unique.
I find this true of the entire collection of stories, which may be why I found it such a satisfying read.

1 comment:

Usha said...

We have the right weather here to read about good music and good writing. Completely unexpected drizzle! Apparetnly the north-easterly monsoon which usually confines itself to the east coast of India. I'm reading a bad tale that has been told well -- Rushdie's Enchantress of Florence