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Acht Sauschneider müssen sein

This title of the Haydn Capriccio in G Major was the opening work of a concert by András Schiff in Jordan Hall last night that rsc and I went to. It's based on a counting song - there must be eight pig-cutters - whose text loosely translated begins It takes eight of you to castrate a boar - two in front, two behind, two to cut, two to bind....

Following this piece he played Haydn's Sonata no 53 in E mi, a piece particularly nostalgic for me since this one I worked on 50 years ago when I was taking piano lessons. I still have my copy of the music, somewhat yellowed and dried out. I occasionally try a bit of it but occasional piano playing doesn't work very well at all. It is still tempting and inspiring, but I will only do it if no-one can hear me. I was surprised at the speed of the first movement so I asked Robert "Is the first movement usually played so fast?" and he replied, "It is marked Presto:" and then said I couldn't never play it at that speed".

The rest of the concert included two Beethoven sonatas and another Haydn plus a couple of encores. It was a very nice way to end the evening of a busy day that started with continued work painting the garage.

What made going to this concert somewhat bizarre is that we had just come from Fenway Park to see the RedSox flame out against the WhiteSox and fall out of post season play. I suspect we were the only people in the audience who entered wearing baseball caps. Fortunately no-one had spilled beer on me. The game was slow and by the time we had walked rapidly to the concert hall and got to our seats it was a couple of minutes after 8 but since they didn't start on time we missed nothing.

Baseball Parks and Concert Halls have their affinity. Ron Della Chiesa, the morning classical music host on WGBH, sometimes calls Symphony Hall the Fenway Park of concert halls - a title perhaps more suitable for Jordan Hall with its narrow aisles and small seats pointing in the wrong direction. On WCRB the announcer sometimes says - and the RedSox play the Yankees in Fenway Park tonight and the BSO plays Beethoven in Symphony hall tomorrow...

It's nice that at concerts people don't get up and walk in front of you while the artists are playing, there are no peanut vendors or people selling Beethoven Rally Monkeys, or audience members chanting "Let's Go Haydn" and banging their seats, nor tossing beach balls or doing the wave during the final crescendos of a rousing final movement.

Anyway, it was a nice baseball season - we went to 14 games at Fenway Park and two in Citizens's Bank Park in Philadelphia - the RedSox did pretty well in spite of weak pitching. And we'll be seeing which pig-cutters are back next year.

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...and, as I remarked later, when Beethoven loads the bases with nobody out, you know he's going to score.

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that was an amazing bit of pitching, though, i have to say.

Yep. Maddening to Boston fans, to be sure. And if Damon changes his mind a millisecond earlier...

Shouldn't that be, loads the basses?

Which reminds me of that old joke:

A community orchestra and chorus were performing Beethoven's Choral Symphony. Some of the basses weren't too keen on having to sit through the whole performance just for the bit of singing they do at the end. So, they decided to sneak across the street to the neighborhood pub. After a few rounds one guy noticed that almost 45 minutes had passed. "We'd better be getting back or we'll miss our entrance." "Not to worry," another lad bellowed out, "I took precautions and bound the last few pages of the music with a string, just in case we were a bit late. It'll take the conductor a moment to turn the page." Nonetheless, they rushed back to the concert hall. As they stumbled back onto the stage, moments before their cue, they accidentally knocked two tenors off the top riser in their drunken stupor. The conductor heard the commotion and looked up, then went to turn the page and met with resistance. Suddenly he was overcome with panic as he realized, it's the bottom of the Ninth, the score is tied, two men are out, and the basses are loaded!

...and the basses are loaded


Shouldn't that be, loads the basses?

Perhaps, but it didn't occur to me in the context of a solo piano recital.

Nice. Evocative. I miss Boston this time of year. Poor Sox.

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Re: Are you ready to Rachmaninov?

Cuddlier, certainly. ;-)

Yesterday an announcer on a Toronto Classical station commented about how busy this Friday night would be downtown, with a performance by Evgeny Kissin....and then he went on to say something about the Maple Leafs, which was utterly lost on me, as most sports references are. I'm glad concerts aren't like hockey games.

or audience members chanting "Let's Go Haydn" and banging their seats

Don't give me any ideas. I'm thinking this might improve Haydn! ;)

That Peter Schickele bit where Beethoven's Fifth is narrated as if it were a baseball game is now so old that there's a whole new generation (or two!) who need to be introduced to it.

I greatly admire Andras Schiff's playing. I'm sure it must have been a really nice recital.

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