My Venice book featured

I wrote my Venice book (A Pianist’s Journal in Venice) over a year ago because I had a hundred watercolors I had dashed off in my travel journal in a heightened state while we were there, and many scribbled impressions, episodes, and a heckuva tale to tell. I have since given several musical programs based around the book, most notably the one at Steinway Hall in New York City, complete with Venetian masques, Italian pastries and prosecco.
It was a spectacular evening in that great landmark building with its elegant salon, equal to any I saw in Venice.

And then it was over, except for a couple of less elegant events and book signings and sales, and the listing on Amazon. I never expected much more to happen; I never market any of my books, or paintings, or CDs, aggressively; and thus I have gotten used to a certain lack of recognition and distribution for work that I believe is pretty well-done. In fact, as time passes, I realize that the best part of what I do and have done for so many years, is the work itself and I have gotten less “ambitious”, less interested in “fame”, (although “fortune” would be nice!!).

And so it is with sheer delight and surprise, that I have been treated to the spread that the magazine Clavier Companion has given to my book. In their January issue, Susan Geffen wrote a lovely review, and then “interviewed” me on the blog of the online edition of the magazine:
They also reproduced a few watercolors from the book which are linked onto the interview and review. Having scaled down my expectations, the occasional burst of acknowledgement really feels good.

Mozart times Two

My son, Dennis Parker, is a superb cellist and cello professor. He is having  a banner year with concerts from Denver to Istanbul, ending with one at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in May. Using a grant to support his work on sabbatical this semester, he has transcribed for cello two concerti—(the A major for violin, and the viola part of the Sinfonia Concertante in E flat); he is publishing, performing and recording them with orchestra, thereby widening and heightening the experience of Mozart into new realms for whoever  hears these new versions. Mozart never wrote for the cello, except in his chamber music, and Dennis makes a convincing case for both works, which, in my humble opinion, sound better on the cello, than on their original instruments.

Why write about this on my blog?

 I had just finished the Mozart set of CDs in my own project (The Composer’s Landscape series), and I was thoroughly steeped in Mozart, which is to say, I was dwelling in the elevated state that his celestial music brings us to. I had been reading and writing whatever I could for the commentary segment of the recordings; and trying to attain the rarified technical and musical levels Mozart requires,  (which, in fact, no mere human can,)– and upon completion of this phase of the project, I sort of entered a reflective period, enjoying the sense that I had given my best to the music,, and the consequent feeling of grace and pleasure. It was a period when, as much as I love the music of Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, and so on, I could barely tolerate any music but Mozart.

And then I received Dennis’ new CD in the mail and was struck not only by the synchronicity of our respective projects, and the astonishing beauty of his recording,  but the great good fortune that my son and I could send our work to each other—two Mozart recordings–the results of our love of the music, and honest-to-goodness hard work accomplished with whatever gifts we were each lucky to be endowed with, and then to have the privilege and pleasure of listening to each other’s performances with sensitive educated ears.

I write about this as a kind of psalm of thanks.