Seven Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 3 - Inés-Style  

Posted by Agnes Regina

Here I go again! This week was Finals Week for me so I may as well give you a day-by-day breakdown.


I'll begin with last Saturday, which was rather a bittersweet day. I taught my last lesson to my student at the Community Music School, whom I was teaching through my Pedagogy class, and we were both rather sad to be parting. She's a bright little lass and I think she will do very well with whatever teacher she is assigned to next. That night, the choirs and orchestra gave their All-Bach performance which doubled as our Dr. Bowers' farewell concert. She has been directress of choral studies and music education for twenty-four years and her departure will leave a big hole in the Webster family. We began with the magnificent Cantata No. 11, a.k.a. the Ascension Oratorio; that was followed by the beautiful Mass in A Major. After the intermission the Chorale alone led off with the motet Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied, "Sing ye to the Lord a new song." I sang the soprano part in the second movement's solo-quartet and received a good bit of praise for my singing afterward. The concert ended with a hysterical rendition of P.D.Q. Bach's mock-oratorio "The Seasonings." I think the audience had fun with that - we certainly did!


On Monday I had Orchestration Review, where we listened to the recording of our final projects as performed by the Chamber Orchestra the Thursday before. We didn't get to mine, sadly, but the ones we did hear had turned out very well! That day I also finished and turned in my Piano Pedagogy final, which was a take-home due on Tuesday. (WHAT?! You mean Inés didn't procrastinate till the eleventh hour and fifty-ninth minute? Miracles will never cease.)


Tuesday, since I'd already turned in the Pedagogy final, I only had to be at college for a few minutes - the length of time it took to sing my voice jury. I sang Er, der herrlichste von allen from Schumann's beautiful song-cycle Frauenliebe und -Leben and Joseph Szulc's setting of the marvelous Verlaine poem Clair de lune. It sounds like moonlight and I love it. That night Tata came home from Argentina and handed out some gifts from the journey - new Jules Verne books for the Three Musketeers, a fan for Stick, a book on Rosas for the Devil's Advocate, and for the rest of the girls, a small heap of jewelry which had been his mother's (R.I.P.) Since we share our collection, these will probably be worn by all of us at some point or another and will be a lovely reminder of our Yaya. To his dismay, however, Tata discovered he'd left behind the pile of Piazzolla and Ginastera scores he'd acquired for me in Argentina. Ah well... now I have something to look forward to from the next trip!


Wednesday was the day of the Eighteenth-Century Counterpoint final and this was the one I was most nervous about, simply because there's so much information to remember - composers' dates, treatises on counterpoint and their authors and dates/places of publication... crazy. However, I acquitted myself well according to our professor, (though he hadn't graded them yet, he'd had time for a look at mine before I asked him,) so I am happy. That afternoon I also taught a piano lesson to my new student Kyle, whom I've been teaching for a month now. At fourteen, he is the oldest of my small group of students; he is doing very nicely and I enjoy teaching him.


Thursday was really rather uneventful. Since all my finals were over, after teaching my recorder classes at Queen of the Holy Rosary I stayed at home to help Maria with the babies, since Mami and Tata were off for a conference Tata's giving in California. In the afternoon I did head over to college for a bit and rehearsed my Beethoven sonata and concerto for a couple of hours before going to meet the children at the Viking's, because the house was getting inspected and we couldn't return until later that night.


Today I taught music at Q.H.R. again, talked to Father Kurtz about music for First Communions this upcoming Sunday, and then came home and helped with the babies until it was time to go to Webster one last time -- this time, for the Senior Honors Ceremony for the College of Fine Arts. I drove the Vespa, and as I parked a little way from college, it started to rain in big, heavy drops. I thought wildly, "Oh gosh... if the road's wet I'm going to get killed going back. Please God, don't let it really storm till I get home." And indeed, the rain was gone by the time I walked into the Community Music School building. The Dean announced the names of those from all the departments who had "Latin honors" and then, between performances by some of the students, the chairs of the several departments went to the microphone and called, one by one, the names of the students of their own department who had been chosen by the faculty. Each one received a white silk scarf with the name of the department on it in black. The program ran thus:
Welcome by the Dean -- Art Department Honors -- Ryan Carpenter, piano, performing Messiaen's Regard de l'Esprit de joie -- Alison Brandon-Watkins, dance-major, dancing a piece she choreographed -- Dance Department Honors -- Music Department Honors -- jazz performance by Pete Lombardo and Andrew Miramonti, jazz honor students -- Conservatory of Theatre Arts Honors -- Meadowlark, by Courtney Halford, soprano, accompanied by Ryan. (I was incredibly proud of him when she announced at the beginning of her piece that since her accompanist was sick, Ryan had been handed the accompaniment at the last minute and figured the thing out in half an hour - and it was not easy!) Then the Dean gave another short speech and I headed for home, looking nervously at the menacing clouds from time to time. God is good, for the threatened storm didn't break while I rode... and indeed, it hasn't yet!

To crown a glorious day, the Devil's Advocate and I went to hear the Cuban concert-pianist Horacio Gutierrez play Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at Powell Hall. The piece always makes me cry and this time was no exception, though instead of tears, this time was more like silent, dry sobs that made my throat ache. I wouldn't have traded it for anything though... the music was pure glory from beginning to end. I could see very well why Gutierrez is considered one of the greatest pianists in the world today. His technique was flawless, but it wasn't just that. Anybody can play the notes right, but he made the piano sing like a living being. It was magnificent.
The second half of the program was Ralph Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony, for baritone and soprano solos, chorus and orchestra. As usual, the Orchestra and the Symphony Chorus performed magnificently, but the piece is not one I'd choose to hear again. (Coincidentally, however, the premiere performance of this piece was paired with no other piece than Rachmaninoff's Second Concerto... with the composer at the piano. Now, for that, I'd go through the Vaughan-Williams again! Anybody got a time machine?)

This entry was posted on May 07, 2010 at Friday, May 07, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Wow-sounds like you've had a very full week!

May 8, 2010 at 10:25 AM

now she's done with school! grrrrrrrrrrr....I still have 2 and a half weeks!!

May 8, 2010 at 1:26 PM


May 8, 2010 at 6:02 PM


May 9, 2010 at 5:31 PM

Sounds left out the part where you abndoned me with the babies to see all these

May 11, 2010 at 7:39 AM

Eighteenth Century Counterpoint? First or Second Half?

Theory like Fux, Zarlino or practise, like J S Bach, J Chr W A Mozart?

If Riepl and Koch wrote about Counterpoint as well, correct me: I though Mozart learned Menuet and Sonata forms from Riepl but studied counterpoint in Fux and Zarlino.

May 11, 2010 at 8:48 AM

"Sixteenth-Century Counterpoint" last semester discussed Fux and Zarlino in theory, and Palestrina, Lassus and desPrez in composition. "Eighteenth-Century" was mostly Bach (though we did study some Mozart and Mendelssohn later) - the Well-Tempered Clavier, the Chorale-Preludes and the Two- and Three-Part Inventions, with, at the end, a peek at the twentieth-century composers such as Nancarrow, Dellapiccola and Hindemith's "Ludus Tonalis."

May 11, 2010 at 6:27 PM

A very thorough week by the looks of it. I bet you're glad to be done for now. =)
I'm still having difficulty conjuring up any sympathy SFG.

May 12, 2010 at 1:02 AM

Fux and Zarlino were valid theorists for the counterpoint part, therefore the Church Music part even in the time of Haydn and Mozart.

For secular music, South German with partly Italian and Czech style (Haydn, Mozart, Wagenseil, Neefe, Galuppi, Steffan ...) the forms were treated by the theorists Riepel/Riepl (finished publishing in 1762 I think) and Koch (who wrote resuming in part what Mozart and Haydn had done, since he was published in 1790's).

If you read German (do you?) their work has been made accessible by Wolfgang Budday. Also, Riepl can be read online, I have linked from the music theory page available from my index page on musicalia.

May 12, 2010 at 5:09 AM

Of course; I was simply showing how we studied them in class over two semesters.

May 13, 2010 at 10:18 AM

News from teacher yet?

May 14, 2010 at 6:17 AM

Jude...if I were you I would watch what I said.....I have LOTS of blackmail material and you know it.

May 14, 2010 at 1:58 PM

I got an A in that class-- and in every other! (Okay, so Pedagogy and Orchestration were A-, but still - a straight-A semester! Woohoo!)

May 14, 2010 at 7:13 PM


May 15, 2010 at 1:47 PM

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