Week 2, Act 3

Saturday, February 14th: Ian Clarke wrote Touching the Ether for flute & piano in 2006 in memory of his mother, Wendy Clarke (1935-2003) and provides the following program notes in the score: “Touching the Ether was premiered at the 2006 Woldingham International Summer School (UK) and then at the 2006 British Flute Society’s International Convention, Manchester. The US premieres were made in November 2006 by Ian at the University of Northern Iowa with subsequent performances in Dallas & Seattle. This work could be said to fall loosely into the same category as previous flute & piano works such as Orange Dawn and Spiral Lament i.e. Man’s relationship with the natural world. In this case it reflects upon countless lateral and eternal connections between people; between each other across the world and through generations stretching both back and forwards in time. This is viewed both through the personal prism of close relationships, and a wider feeling of the fluidity of the complex consequential interactions around us. It attempts to glimpse at these ripples of action and reaction, both direct and indirect, which may be perceived to fade and coalesce, or may be viewed as what I call ‘time dominoes’ whose effect could be of a quite different nature. It is a feeling of ‘touching the ether’.”

I’m not quite sure what I was thinking when I chose this piece for today because it is really freakin’ difficult and would probably take me a month or two to learn. A total fail on my part for not realizing that sooner. I also just realized that Michael and I have already performed the pieces I chose for tomorrow and Monday! Doh! (Ian Clarke, Sunstreams for flute & piano and Sunday Mornings for flute & piano)

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Sunday, February 15th: Today I chose to learn Franz Joseph Haydn’s Trio in F Major, Hob. XV, No. 17 for Flute, Cello and Piano, which was possibly composed between 1767 and 1771. This piece is one of Haydn’s early trios, which were considered minor works in comparison to his later trios written starting in the mid-1780s. His later trios reflect Haydn’s musical maturity and are greatly admired. Haydn’s piano trios are usually dominated by the piano and the violin or flute plays the majority of the melodic lines, often doubled by the piano while the cello often doubles the bass line. The form of the Trio in F Major is rather unusual. The first movement is serious in character, in contrast to the playful instrumentation of most first movements of Haydn in his other trios in Hob. XV. The second and final movement is a finale in contrast to most virtuosic final movements.

A couple months ago, my nieces Isabella and Sophia asked me if I could travel in time to meet someone what time period would I travel to and who would I meet. My answer was quick and simple. I would travel to the mid-170os in Austria to meet ‘Papa Haydn.’ I absolutely admire his work ethic, beautiful music and his undeniable sense of humor. If I could experience it firsthand, I would in a heartbeat!

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