Life According to Piano

Winter Music

There are several pieces I’ve made up that I have never really understood. They are not completed, obviously; at least, in my opinion I haven’t completed them. You certainly haven’t heard them, unless you & I are quite close & one evening I got a bit crazy and started playing all the music I generally don’t take out in public!*

The uncompleted ”pieces” often are a great beginning or a great ending, and I have yet to determine the rest of the story. One beautiful phrase pair that just doesn’t inspire any other phrases. A few ear-catching melody notes that are so complete-unto-themselves that I have no idea where else they might lead. And I’m talking over more than a decade, here, of returning to these pieces and playing them and listening to them; and for me that’s all they say; and for me that’s not enough. 

But there is one thing I am certain of with all these uncompleted pieces: they are winter music. They all have something to say about the deep dark mystical end-as-beginning of life. Maybe that’s why I feel there is more to the unfinished ones but somehow I can’t find it — I’m only half-baked myself!


I realize that in March I wrote I probably wouldn’t be playing much Schumann.

Well, a couple of short pieces aren’t “much,” right? oh, wait: 3 short pieces. Still not “much.” (And that’s my story & I’m sticking to it.)

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