The beautiful days. The beautiful days are not gone. Despite the acid I spread on Friday. The beautiful days are happening right now. If we allow them to happen. The day before I was writing this post the roof of one of the landmarks of Paris was destroyed by a fire: the Cathédrale de Notre-Dame. A terrible loss. But the day I wrote this post, I rose with the sun, I didn’t have to work, the house was calm and I enjoyed a beautiful sight out of the kitchen window as the vineyards are coming to life. The beautiful days are whenever we want to make them happen.
A walk on a cold morning. Sunrays dissolving the fog. Nature covered with frost. Delicate, fragile ice crystals reflecting the light. Moments of magic. A morning walk to discover once more natural beauty. A morning walk to help collect my thoughts. A new year has begun less than a fortnight ago, a new year with new, or rather renewed resolutions. A morning walk to start all over again trying to lead a meaningful life.
A welcoming sound. A welcoming house. Back home where I belong to. The cello’s warm voice invites me in while the strings evoke the tense moments of the past. Does this piece mirror Marie Jaëll’s state of mind while she wrote her Cello Concerto in F Major? In 1882, the year she wrote this piece, her husband had died. Does the composer try to find consolation in music? She did. She often sat in the wooden shed her father had built for her when she was young, absorbed by her music, and anyone knocking on the door would have to expect the reply: “Marie is not here, she’s in the realm of music.” An exceptional woman living an exceptional life.
A dark premonition must have been haunting the composer went she sketched this Lento. Or was it the legacy of her teacher, the influence of the late German Romantic masters? Franz Liszt is not very far indeed, for Marie Jaëll stayed with him in Weimar for quite a number of years, and Richard Wagner, well, Richard Wagner was omnipresent at the time. In 1871 Jaëll wrote her Sonata for piano in C major, dedicated to Liszt.