Saturday, July 17, 2004

Haydn and peanut butter cookies...

Played two string quartets last night.  Haydn's opus 77 no. 2 (his last complete quartet) and Beethoven's  opus 59 no. 1. Quartet playing has and continues to be wonderful recreation for me.  In between movements of these venerable pieces we gossiped and laughed about things far removed from what you might think would be  inspired by the music we were playing.  We touched on politics, recipes, other musicians in town who delight or annoy us.    It was as much a social recreation as a musical one. Perhaps more so.  This is something I have noticed recently.  As I begin my fourth decade of playing chamber music, my quartet friends, their views, their laughter, their idle chatter as we struggle through the repertoire is becoming as important to me as the repertoire itself.  

After we had played, the hostess served us peanut cookies baked that afternoon by her twelve year old daughter.  For some reason, the crumbly richness of those cookies is more vivid to me today than the music that came before.  I'm not saying that opus 77 no. 2 and opus 59 no. 1 are not worthwhile.  They are more than worthwhile. It is those quartets , after all,  that brought us together last night.
But perhaps it's time that I begin to take peanut butter cookies a bit more seriously.


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