Helloo, helloooo! I do believe it is “Music Monday”! Sorry for the late post. I worked all weekend then had work this morning and forgot to proofread the post last night before I fell asleep exhausted and had no time to publish before I left the house, etc, etc, and who cares anyway?! Let’s blog!
One of my biggest regrets in life is giving up the piano. I studied for many years in my youth and managed to do quite well even though, admittedly, I could have practiced more. Still, I enjoyed it a lot. My father was especially proud of me. So why did I quit? My beloved teacher, Bette Renzulli, moved away to Connecticut and I just couldn’t fathom studying with anyone else. Dad didn’t consider this a valid excuse and assured me he could easily find another piano teacher. He was, after all, a professional musician who knew a lot of people. But I was stubborn and resistant. If I couldn’t learn from Mrs. Renzulli then I refused to continue my practice. I loved her so much and was heartbroken that she was leaving. Although he appreciated my attachment to Mrs. Renzulli, my father was still very disappointed that I chose to quit.
Fortunately, some life regrets can be redeemed, and I’ve always hated that I let my father down. That’s why I have decided to return to the piano!!! Yaaaayyy!! What do you think? Good idea? But, um, I have to buy a piano first. That would help, right? As soon as I can find an upright in good condition and in my price range, I’m ready to relive my glory days. What’s weird is that I’m feeling both enthusiastic and apprehensive. I guess I’m just afraid that I’ll suck. It’s been sooo long since I played, and I have a daunting feeling that piano playing does not fall into the “riding a bike” category. You can’t just pick up where you left off, which means I foresee many hours of scales in my future!
Though I’m sure I will be terribly rusty, I’m hoping that I can ease right into the joy shown by the woman in this painting. She seems to be having a grand old time at the keys, really playing with gusto at her fabulously cluttered piano. This is Giovanni Boldini’s Woman at a Piano, 1871:
A neater, more serious and sedate pianist here in Vilhelm Hammershoi’s Interior With Woman at Piano, 1901:
In this 1916 Matisse work, The Piano Lesson, Matisse’s son Pierre is the young boy at the piano. A heavily abstracted scene, it is deceptively stark. The folks over at Smarthistory have an enjoyable and informative analysis of this painting. See it at this link.
Here is a piano work I once mastered, but only after much blood, sweat, and tears. It was tough. I remember struggling mightily with the left hand, but overcame my fumbling thanks to Mrs. Renzulli’s unflinching patience. The piece is Chopin’s Prelude in F Sharp minor, performed by Vladimir Ahskenazy. When I get my piano I’m determined to play this baby once again. I’m ready for you Frederic!