A meditative piano piece. Minimalist music. “Auf einem anderen Blatt” – on another page. The German expression that gave this piece its title invites to change the perspective. While listening to it my mind started wandering: changing the perspective, being flexible, giving the other the right to have a different view than myself. Empathy, putting myself in someone else’s shoes, feeling how he feels – how difficult that is at times. “Auf einem anderen Blatt” also refers in German to the unsaid, often opposed to what has been said or written. Yes, but…
Is this the echo of the Big Bang? A train rumbling down a tunnel? A not-too-well oiled machine? No, it’s not. It is… Rebecca Saunders. The UK composer is exploring unfamiliar realms of sound and she walks here at least partly in the footsteps of her teacher Wolfgang Rihm. Now, I am aware that the Neue Musik puts off some of you, the readers of this blog. However I listened to a few compositions of Mrs. Saunders and one struck me as a box of multiple surprises, a kind of benign Pandora’s Box. It merits a little attention, and be reassured, we will return to the more familiar classical music in no time at all. This is just a lovely escape into modernity!
Petite Suite. The name – it suggests the Baroque era. Georg Friedrich Händel composed a few suites for the harpsichord. The music – it evokes a modern jazz piece for solo piano. Keith Jarrett’s compositions come to my mind. Actually, this piece borrows from many sides. In 1947, the Italian composer Luciano Berio wrote this piece while he was still studying at the Milan Conservatory. The work saw its premiere a year later in Como.
Alone at night – I am not afraid of the thought. Alone at night – what a chance! Everything is calm, and my mind can focus on a single thought without any distraction. Curiously, a few pieces of music allow me to focus even better. They induce a kind of trance that takes me further away from the physical world and helps me propel myself into the world of abstract thinking. Frédéric Chopin’s “Nocturnes” for example. Keith Jarrett’s Cologne Concert and his album “Melody at Night”.