Make-up time. I still haven’t written about the lovely performance I got on Feb. 10 of Still Point
at Mannes. The performers were mezzo Theodora Hanslowe
, violist Hsin-Yun Huang
and pianist Thomas Sauer
. And it was particularly touching to have the poet, Shona Simpson, in attendance.
Theodora has a perfect blend of creamy voice and flawless diction. Hsin-Yun has a sound and musicianship to kill for. And Thomas has the full range of touch, from lightest feathers to thickest chest hair.
As I told the audience, Still Point
has gone on to a “number of performances” since its memorable premiere in 2007
. Composer trick: I didn’t tell them that the “number” was two.
It was also fun to hear Kurtag’s Hommage a Robert Schumann
for clarinet, viola and piano on the same concert, with its quirkier-than-thou structure of five very brief (some just a few seconds long) movements followed by an extended isorhythmic motet in the style of Machaut. And what better way to end a motet-movement-in-homage-to-Schumann than to have the clarinetist (Todd Palmer, in this case) punctuate the proceedings with a gentle tap on a bass drum?
Last Thursday, the performers and I convened with Judith Sherman
at the American Academy of Arts and Letters to record Still Point
. I’ve had four recording sessions with Judy, and they’ve all been ear-opening experiences. Her attention to detail is legendary, and her gentle but exacting manner with musicians is always a recipe for success. I won’t get the results of this session for another couple of months, but I know she will have done everything humanly possible to make me sound good once again.