Category Archives: poetic prose

“The Most Recent Piano Trio.”

It’s almost impossible to believe.

Tomorrow night, by this time, there will have been a.) a Full Moon; b.) an eclipse; c.) a visible comet ; and, d.) the realization of the intended performance of the Erie Chamber Orchestra’s piano trio, formerly titled “Strange Bedfellows.”

Strange. A few hours past 48 ago, a very strange thing happened, indeed.

Right in the middle of dress rehearsal, without a cross word ever spoken, without an evil eye, without any confrontation whatsoever, one member of the trio walked out.

Doing the math, that left us two: myself and one other musician, aghast and agape, respectively.

This was never done. No professional did this. Certainly, in my nearly 60 years, 30 of which having been spent as a Union card carrying pro, this had never happened. Nobody bailed at the dress rehearsal – and, got away with it.

Maybe the impending Full Moon, maybe the alignment of the planets and our star sun, maybe the schedule of the comet. Maybe the Almighty God. Somebody found Julie.

Julie was the kind of phenom who entered a room without even a peep of apparent genius. She dressed for comfort. Easy going, a bit chatty; carrying a bottle of water – and, her viola.

Julie had never seen our music before in her life. Most chamber musicians hadn’t. There are only nine works of music at IMSLP for oboe, viola, and piano – and, we were performing three of them.

As of tonight, Julie has now seen every note. Three hours of steamrolling accomplishing the entire rehearsal task, as I write this she is likely home, nursing a sprained ankle, seated at the music, tightening up the last loose end. And, tomorrow, by this time, she will have triumphed over an unprecedented adversity.

Power is an awesome force. Sometimes it is grasped after, with the last functional breath. And, sometimes, it descends upon a scene like soft rain. Tomorrow, by this time, in the eclipsed light of the Full Moon, comet streaking by,  The Most Recent Piano Trio will have taken its place in a much smaller history. The power, on this serendipitous night, will have made its subtle and profound shift in the favor of three specks in the universe – three women, committed to making live music.

At this moment, the gift awaits.

What: “The Most Recent Piano Trio”:  Hilary Philipp, oboe; Julie Von Volkenburg, viola; Yours truly, piano. Performing works by Charles Martin Loeffler; Felix White; and, August Klughardt. Cee Williams, and Dr. Gregory Brown, featured poets.

When:  Friday, February 10, 2017

What time:  7:30 pm.

Where: Luther Memorial Church, Erie PA.

Extra parking in the West 11th lot.

Epilogue:

Here is a YouTube link to our videotaped performance. Though I utilized the mute pedal at frequent intervals and the lid was down, the audio quality reflects the fact that we are performing in a church, and you will note reverb. I wish I were beautiful, but my nose is strong and my jaw is weak and I talk like a biddy and that is just the way it is; however, our oboeist and violist are both lovely, so if you do feast your ears, you may cast your eyes upon them for a truly satisfying experience. We didn’t compose this music, but we are certainly among the most fortunate for having had the opportunity to perform it for you.

*Update: Do we suspect, also, that either YouTube “adjusted” the volume whenever the music became quiet, i.e. effectively neutralizing all dynamic fluctations (the videographer calls this “compression”), or that the videocam had a built in “adjuster”? Sigh.

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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo 2/9/17

littlebarefeetblog.com

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Promming!

*Author’s Note: This piece was first published at littlebarefeetblog.com almost a year ago, to the day; a good recycling, on this fair evening, seemed in order……enjoy!  R.A.S.

 

© Ruth Ann Scanzillo    All rights reserved. Please do not duplicate, in whole or part. Sharing by Re-Blogging  is permitted. Thank you for your respect.

littlebarefeetblog.com

 

 

 

“Desperado.”

 

Only once or twice in any generation will a pop song rise to the level of universal symbol.

The one that always spoke to me was “Desperado.”

The band: The Eagles. Kind of a southern rock/pop style backed by strong vocal harmonies and blended by not one but two song writers, one of them the newly departed Glenn Frey.

But, that tune, a signature for the intimate, 70’s love song crooner, was about even more;  this was the ballad of the touring minstrel, and what he’d learned about life.

My father had been his own generation’s vagabond songbird. He’d met mum, on a night train, its steam engine stopped long, enough, to wake her enough to spy the dashing, raven haired soldier who just needed a seat. He’d sung to her, all night, and spun his stories, and woo’ed her, and gotten off the train, and been pursued by the great American hand written letter, until he let her love him and married her.

Though our generation preceded the technological rush by just a few, short years, our pop idols still knew how to sing alone. But, none of them had been trained in the art, if there even was one, of The Tour; nobody told them they’d live out of a bus, never eat right, rarely sleep, and probably go through so many groupies it would be hard to remember their own names, let alone those of the eager teenage girls who clamored back stage. Yet, they were the last of the clarified poets – lyrics, always close to our ears, never frantic, in time with our lives, right next to our hearts.

None of us knows what inspired the lyrics to that nomad’s song. But, I can remember singing it, loud and soaring, year after year, behind the wheel of the Pontiac Ventura and then the Sunbird, to and from work in the Greek dinor and, later, on the way home from my own pop band gigs, after the latest boyfriend had stood me up. To me, every heartbreak and heartbreaker was a Desperado, out ridin’ fences, never ready to come to his senses. He never did let me love him, and it was always too late.

Rest in Peace, beloved balladeer. Soar with the eagles, now . And, for letting us love you – thanks. ❤

RIP Glenn Frey.

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© Ruth Ann Scanzillo  1/18/16   All rights the author’s. Thanks. littlebarefeetblog.com