Friday, June 10, 2005

Baby needs a new pair of shoes!

Last week Sean Carroll introduced the iChing, a new take on the Friday Randomness that is around the blogosphere. Sean explains it far better than I can, so go read it. I'm going to apply it today, asking a specific question as Sean recommends. My question: When will our house sell?

Now, I hit the refresh on iTunes shuffle to get the pieces:

1. The Covering: The important events, issues, attitudes or influences around the question or current situation - J.S. Bach, Cantata n 202, Hochzeit / Wedding: 4. Und dieses ist das Glucke; Sich uben im Lieben (Wynton Marsalis and Kathleen Battle)

2. The Crossing: Current obstacles, problems, conflicts and opposition that the questioner must deal with - Tomaso Albinoni, Adagio in G minor (Hakan Hardenberger)

3. The Crown: The best that can be achieved or attained from current circumstances - Johann Ernst Altenburg, Concerto in D - 2. Andante (New York Trumpet Ensemble)

4. The Root: Past events or influences that have played an important part in bringing about the current situation - Maurice Ravel, Piano Concerto For The Left Hand In D Major (LortiƩ)

5. The Past: Events or influences from the more recent past that have influenced the present but are now passing away - Charamela Real, Sonata 44 (Nick Norton and Anthony Plog)

6. The Future: Future events and fresh influences about to come into play that will operate in the near future - W.A. Mozart, Hornkonzert Nr. 3 Es-dur, KV 447: II. Romanza (Larghetto) (Dennis Brain)

7. The Questioner: The questioner's attitude and how they relate to the current situation - Mack the Knife (Ella Fitzgerald)

8. The House: How other people around the questioner affect and view matters in hand - Robert Schumann, Myrthen, Op. 25: 19. Hauptmanns Weib (Ian Bostridge ten, Graham Johnson piano )

9. The Inside: The questioner's hopes, fears and expectations with regard to the question or the current situation - Beethoven, String Quartet No. 8 in E minor ("Rasumovsky 2"), Op. 59/2 : 2 Molto Allegro (Alban Berg Quartett)

10. The Outcome: The eventual outcome of events shown by the other cards - Brahms, Intermezzo in E minor, Op. 119, no. 2 (Radu Lupu)

Okay. The important events surrounding this question do start with me getting married. More importantly, we are selling this house so we can move closer to my work, which will keep the marriage and resulting family healthy. We chose the current house so my wife could more easily find work, showing the compromises that are made in love.

The Crossing is more difficult, as this is a purely instrumental work. The Adagio is very passionate, but also very sad. The music strives for something, but cannot reach it. It seems to reflect the spirit of the Crossing without specifying what the obstacle is.

The Altenburg concerto is for seven trumpets and timpani, which I played on my senior recital. It exemplifies teamwork, especially since the seven trumpets are divided into two choirs so two trumpets take turns as leader. Perhaps the best that can be achieved is that my wife and I (both trumpeters) continue to work together as a team, each of us taking the lead when we need to. But what about the house?

The Root is the only Classical piece that is completely self-contained. Ravel's Concerto for the Left Hand encompasses tenderness, turmoil, and triumph. It is long enough and varied enough to represent the whole history of our family.

The Past is an old trumpet ensemble, perhaps representing that both Mary and I have left behind the trumpet as our main pursuits. In fact, the decision to move was made in part because Mary no longer wants to teach private lessons. This piece is very similar to the Altenburg Concerto, with trumpets and timpani. In one way, this could suggest that the best that could occur has already occurred, but that is too depressing for me.

The Future, how does a Mozart horn concerto reflect our future? Dennis Brain was killed in a car accident, but again, that is too depressing. The movement is lovely, peaceful, quiet. That is a good future, though again it doesn't specify what particular event will affect this. Damn instrumental music!

The Questioner, okay, maybe my attitude is too lackidasical. Like Ella, I don't care if I don't know all of the words, I just make up some as I go along. But it also reflects my concern that the house hasn't sold yet. I'm not saying that I want to hire a hit man to handle things, but I am frustrated.

Robert Schuman composed Myrthen as a wedding gift for Clara. "A myrthen is a wreath made out of myrtle (evergreen) leaves and white flowers, which together were traditionally associated with Venus." The particular song, "The Captain's Lady," is based on a Robert Burns poem, though altered significantly by the translator:
In Burns’s version, “The Captain’s Lady” is a spoiled darling who mounts a nice nag to watch from the sidelines, safe from harm, as her soldier-husband does battle, but in Gerhard’s hands (“Hauptmanns Weib”), she becomes an Amazon, riding to war alongside her husband. Schumann, who knew Clara’s strength from the protracted battle with her redoubtable father for the right to marry, no doubt saw his beloved in the staunch warrior-woman of the German text.

So Mary's attitude is one of support (as also shown by the Altenburg Concerto), helping in the process of selling the house. She has battled just as fiercely as I (probably moreso).

The Inside is another instrumental work. Beethoven's Rasumovsky Quartets were composed for Count Rasumovsky, Russian ambassador in Vienna. It is a beautiful movement, though not as simple as the Mozart concerto. There is more exploration of theme and harmony, more dissonance (though always resolved), and some wicked-cool augmented-sixth chords! Lots of hope, but realistic.

Interestingly, the Outcome was also composed for Clara Schumann, but by Brahms this time. The Intermezzi in general are very gentle and domestic in nature. But not the E minor. This has been described as "anxiety turn[ed] to trembling in the scheme and construction of the repeated fragile chords of the sixteenths. However, we hear a glimpse of hope also in this intermezzo in measures [36-71] in the E-dur episode." So anxiety may be overcome by hope? That's the best I get? Stupid iChing!

No comments: