Andrei Strizek

Music | Musings

A Little Night Music

Tonight I "shared the stage" with probably the most famous violinist in the world & his pianist ... as the pianist's page-turner. The program was phenomenal, as was to be expected, and was interjected with an almost-perfect amount of witty humor.

In addition to witnessing an incredible performance first-hand, I was there for their rehearsal, and I learned a lot in that brief 45 minutes. It was an experience that I'll remember for a long time.

If you know me, you know I have a dislike of Mozart's music. It's mostly irrational, I'll admit, because part of me really likes him (ditto Gershwin and Tchaikovsky and maybe Justin Bieber) but part of me feels afraid to admit it. (There's a forthcoming post - almost finished - that explains a similar relationship between Gershwin and me. Keep watching for it!)

Aside from a few encores, the program was: Mozart Sonata in A Major, K 526, Franck Sonata, and Stravinsky Suite Italienne. All great pieces and great playing (and great puns). But I was struck most by the Mozart - partly because I didn't want to like it, and partly because the Stravinsky flew by so fast as I was watching the music that I need another listen or two to begin to appreciate it. (I know the Franck from a bad experience last year, and was awed by the performance, but it didn't affect me the same way a new piece can.)

If you don't know the Mozart Sonata in A Major, here's a video clip of the last movement. I'm 98% certain it's a Rondo (I heard it 1.5 times tonight, but I was making sure I didn't miss a page-turn instead of analyzing it). (If you want to check my super-fast analysis, here's the sheet music.) Regardless of its form, it's an absolute delight. It's definitely a workout for the pianist, and the pianist tonight did a fabulous job with it.

I love the scalar passages and how quickly he shifts modes - not just from major to minor, but jumping around in all sorts of different keys. The unbridled enthusiasm of the piece is difficult to resist.

It's helping change my opinion on this composer who's so revered by millions.

(By the way, walking on-stage to the applause of over 2000 people - even if it's not for you - is an awe-inspiring thing to do.)

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