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Defying convention

Two days ago I had the rare privilege of making a day of music with my two brilliant collaborators, Artie Dibble on violin, and Dave Eggar, cello. We began the day reading Schumann Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 63: my choice because it is so outrageous as to defy all conventions of counting, phrasing, intonation — everything. They would not have chosen to play it. Why did I choose it? Because Schumann gets every musician to the place where we are like little kids reacting to ogres, to fairies, to magic, at the speed of sound itself. Don’t try to catch me!!!

Then we read a Mozart Trio (G major, K. 564) of Eggar’s choosing. Fragile, subtle, quietly demanding every musical response an adult may have been fortunate enough to retain despite years of training. And it was all there.

In both pieces unforgettably moving rapport with a composer. Then we recorded Brahms Op 87 C Major Trio: A vastly under-appreciated work, subtle in the extreme. For that is what it is: in extremis.

And this is where non-singers touch the realm of the vocal: where the beginning and ending of every bow stroke, of every finger touch pronounces a visceral connection to the tone to come or the one just released. So immediate. So powerful. So joyful to share that with one’s colleagues, and with an audience!

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