29 July 2008

Romantic piano

Listening to Poulenc's Sonata in A major for Cello (originally for violin) and Piano from a WGBH podcast. Actually, I've been listening to it on and off for a few weeks, and within that time I'd purchased the four volumes of Amy Beach's piano music performed by Joanne Polk. I can hear their similarities but can't express their differences. I can only cop out and say he has that slight hint of French salon trash and she has that slight hint of New England salon trash. Nothing offensive, just a little gamey. They lived two decades apart--her dying in 1944 and him in 1963. Did she go out to see Bogart movies in her later years? Did he watch The Fugitive on TV? Ever since I learned that I had till I was nine to actually meet Dmitri Shostakovich--unfortunately several years before I was even interested in music--I've been taken by the idea of what these people might have taken in from the pop culture that we ultimately shared.

[ updated 30 July 2008 ]

So now Amy Beach is sounding very impressionist. Debussy's Estampes IIRC. I'm sure I'll start hearing more influences later...

[ posted by sstrader on 29 July 2008 at 8:54:40 PM in Music ]