If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On

The Hamilton Conservatory of the Arts hosted a concert yesterday of Shoshana Teller playing  the complete Bach keyboard partitas… a lovely way to spend Sunday afternoon!

Listening to all six, played brilliantly one after another, was both exhilarating and exhausting, and a lovely reception and art exhibit rounded everything off. The conservatory, opened in 1906, has been restored to its former function and excellence… it is always a pleasure to visit.

All that Bach reminded me of both Glen Gould and the Swingle Singers.

I saw Gould in person once, at the Stratford Festival. I was still in university, and it was very early in Gould’s career, before he became incredibly famous and stopped giving concerts. I am sure the music must have been amazing, but what I remember is the pianist arriving on stage carrying a very low stool. He was wearing unmatched socks and shoes and a long woollen scarf. I seem to remember fingerless gloves also, but perhaps I exaggerate… I can’t be sure. I do know that he sat hunched at the piano and sang and muttered all through the performance. Very strange!   This video,  from a biographical film showing him playing at home, captures that mesmerizing combination of eccentricity and genius!

The Bach I enjoyed more at that time was from the Swingle Singers, an a cappella group whose jazzy vocalizations were about as distant from Gould’s interpretation of Bach as oe can imagine.

Earlier in the week we saw the cinema version of the 2011 Stratford production of Twelfth Night.  A clever blend of Elizabethan music, folk songs and modern pop rock was featured in this modernised production… wonderful!

And on Saturday we saw the Met HD production of L’Elisir d’Amore at the local cinema… imagine, the Metropolitan opera with affordable tickets, just minutes from home, just weeks after their opening performance.

These distractions were very welcome… at home we remain in a state of controlled chaos as the kitchen renovations continue. At the moment a crew is cutting a new hole in the roof to accommodate the vent from the range hood. Access to the attic is via a trapdoor in the ceiling over my bed! It seems that no nook or cranny of the house has been left untouched. We are still preparing food in the basement laundry room and picnicking in the studio/den. But we are promised that the completion date… pushed back twice by unavoidable delays… will still be before Christmas. I can hardly wait!

My husband consoles himself by playing more Bach on the piano, and I am keeping very busy with my blog, my reading, and crafts. Last week I went to London, Ontario to present a trunk show and lecture for their embroidery guild, and tomorrow I am teaching a class for the Guelph Guild. I have lots of homework to complete before the final class next week on how to use Photo Shop 10 to enhance my fiber art, a class I am taking at the Canadian Embroidery Guild, Guelph. Then I will start a MOOC… more about that in a later blog!

Do come back for another visit… and tell us what YOU are enjoying!



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2 Responses to If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On

  1. debbierodgers says:

    Thank you so much for directing me to the brilliant Swingle Singers.It’s full circle, isn’t it?: instruments invented to imitate the human voice, to human voices sounding like instruments – especially in those lower registers.

    All those cultural events happening within easy driving distance – one of the only two things I miss about city living. ;-(

  2. motleydragon says:

    I am glad you enjoyed the Swingle Singers. I first heard them in 1963… were you even born then? The group has kept reconstituting itself and is celebrating fifty years together! http://www.swinglesingers.com/ and there are lots of original pieces on You Tube.

    We were particularly fortunate last week. That is not at all typical. Often there are long periods of drought, and then several events will be on the same evening. Do you have a megaplex cinema in your area? The Met HD events are really outstanding, and worth considerable inconveniece if necessary to get there. This Saturday is Verdi’s Othello!

    By the way, McMaster is playing for the Vanier Cup on Friday evening… televised here at 7:00. They won the championship last year, and are undefeated in 21 games. Great interest and excitement locally. Who cares about the Grey Cup!

    I am reading 11/22/63… Stephen King keeps dragging me away from the new J.K.Rowling book, which I am also enjoying. For book group I should have finished The Headmaster’s Wager, but I was finding the narrative voice so flat and uninteresting that I stalled until the library recalled it for another reader… now I shall either have to buy it, or admit to my reading friends that I slacked off!

    It’s always good to hear from you!

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