Someone pointed out today that I haven’t really written about Alma Deutscher and her opera Cinderella.

Let me start with this confession: when I heard we were doing an opera by a twelve year old prodigy I thought, “How hard can it be? This will probably make my December relaxed and easy. I’ll skip Nutcracker and do this little opera called Cinderella!”

Oh how wrong I was!

But back to one possible reason I’ve not written since we began.

Maybe I’ve not written a lot because I’m having difficulty wrapping my head around these past weeks (or a bit longer, if we include the Symphony Silicon Valley concert). Working with someone who is a mere twelve years old but writes music that hits my heart is difficult to fathom and I honestly don’t know HOW to write about it.

The music is frequently lovely. It is creative. It can make us laugh and it certainly causes me to want to cry (for good reasons, mind you). And then there are moments where what it does harmonically is quite surpising.

In the finale melodies from earlier moemnts come back and fit together. Magically.

And then there is Alma the instrumentalist. She plays violin. She plays piano. And in the finale she plays … wait for it! … organ.

This is an experience I won’t ever forget. It’s quite likely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for this sixty-one year old. After all, it’s doubtful I’ll be playing too much longer. Then again, wouldn’t it be delightful to do this each December?! Or perhaps Alma will enjoy her experience enough with us she’ll write another work and we will premier it. I could live with that!

If you didn’t get to attend the opera you can see and hear it online through March 21, 2018. How about THAT?! Just go here.

Alma is, as I’ve mentioned an ancient twelve now. When she was eight she did this:

Side Note: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention working with that wonderful Jane Glover has been fabulous! She doesn’t settle for “close enough”. She is clear and let’s us know what she wants. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to play under her excellent direction.

21. December 2017 · Comments Off on Ave Maria · Categories: vocal

Well, I don’t pray to Mary, so there’s that. BUT this is just so darn beautiful!

Franz Biebl: Ave Maria

21. December 2017 · Comments Off on Advent: Day Nineteen · Categories: Advent

Herbert Howell: Here is the Little Door
The Gesualdo Six; Owain Park, Director

(oops … sorry I forgot to post the link first!)

Here is the little door, lift up the latch, oh lift!
We need not wander more but enter with our gift;
Our gift of finest gold,
Gold that was never bought nor sold;
Myrrh to be strewn about His Bed;
Incense in clouds about His Head;
All for the Child that stirs not in His sleep,
But holy slumber holds with ass and sheep.
Bend low about His Bed: for each He has a gift;
See how His eyes awake, lift up your hands, oh lift!
For gold, He gives a keen-edged sword
(Defend with it Thy little Lord!)
For incense, smoke of battle red,
Myrrh for the honoured happy dead;
Gifts for His children, terrible and sweet,
Touched by such tiny hands and oh such tiny feet.

Words by Frances Chesterton