Saturday evening I was the guest of a friend to hear a Master Piano Trio. To my recollection this was only the second time that I had really gone to hear classical music play; which means that I am a neophyte when it comes to classical music.
The trio performing was: Gerald Robbins on piano. Mayumi Fujikawa on violin. And Richard Markson on cello.
The first part of the evening featured music by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky.
Many thots went through my mind as I listened to the trio perform ‘Piano Trio in A mnior, Op. 50’:
At first it seemed to me like the cello and violin were telling a story. I began to see the cello as a man who seemed to me large, clumsy, playful, and good intentioned. The violin seemed to me like a woman. As they would play their perspective parts it was like a relationship of sorts. –This was kind of humerous when I was reminded later that the violinist and cellist were married.
I thot about Bl. Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose.) I have recently continued reading the book ‘Father Seraphim Rose: His life and Works.’ There is a part in the book where Gleb Podmoshensky (the future Fr. Herman) writes about Eugene Rose (the future Fr. Seraphim):
“…. That night I learned much about his soul, not through what he said about himself, but through what he said about his appreciation of music. There was a language–a link–between him and the world of music, which he was reluctant to share. Monetverdi, Telemann, and Corelli were the subject of his talk. As we walked I almost heard the music, and somehow associated this with his soul’s deep dissatisfaction with the way the world operates.”
There were parts in this piece that seemed so emotionally heavy. This was interesting to me that this sense was conveyed without words, but by just the music.
The music would be heavy, and then change… with a lighter feeling. It reminded me of Lenten Services where you might be a bit tired; be it from the standing, the hymns, length of Service, or whatever… and then something would occur to refresh you, to uplift you.
Their was a part in the Tchaikovsky piece that seemed to keep coming back around. The way this piece would come around reminded me of the recent Service for the Elevation of the Holy Cross where a hymn was sung that was like the one sung around Pascha. A hint of the connection to Pascha.
Following the intermission the trio performed the ‘Piano Trio in B-flat major, Op. 97 “Archduke”‘ by Beethoven.
It did not seem as emotionally heavy as the Tchaikovsky selection. It almost felt lighter….
I shared this thot with my wife. She explained that Beethoven’s work is more airy, whereas Tchaikovsky’s work is more complicated.
The trio ended the evening with an encore featuring a piece by Mendelssohn.
This was a good experience, I am appreciative for the opportunity to have attended. I experienced classical music in a new way.
Another reminder of the power of art.