Monday, January 22, 2007

Pia's Composer Korner

Here it is at last, as promised. Today the short story writer and erstwhile flautist Pia Z. Ehrhardt has chosen to examine Ol' Maury Ravel, as we call him at the "blog." Here's what Pia had to say earlier this evening: "A song on the radio that makes me quick-dance in the kitchen is fine, but I don't necessarily want to be made happy by music. Happiness is . . . eh? Cheap. I'd rather trawl through reviews and audio clips and blogs and find what is slow, patient, deceptively quiet, so I can maybe reach that tiny planet deep in my chest. Pluto, or the newer, farther-away one, Xena. This is why I love the sonata-allegro form: the second theme of the first movement, and every bit of the second movement, typically named for its tempo i.e. andante (slow, but walking speed), adagio (slower), or lento (drag your butt), largo. If you haven't heard Ravel's Piano Concerto in G Major, don't live too many more days without locking the door, putting on headphones and giving it your attention. It premiered on January 14, 1932, and was performed by pianist, Marguerite Long, who'd asked Ravel for a new work. The composer dedicated the score to her. Lucky girl. There's a section toward the end of the second movement where the piano defers to the cor anglais (fancy for English horn) that, well, if you know of a passage more beautiful, please let me and my planet know." Okay, that's what Pia had to say! Goodbye for now from "Pia's Composer Korner." Pia included a link to that second movement, but no one at the "blog" could figure it out. That's how we are!