A dear musician friend took off for the Catskills with Haydn. His music would fill her cabin space that came equipped with an old grand piano.
My journey ran parallel, only Mozart took the reins.
Wolfgang Amadeus filled my Berkeley apartment with strains of Sonata no. 9 in D, K. 311. It was a revisit after decades past my student days at the New York City High School of Performing Arts. Murray Perahia was a year ahead of me at the time, and a pace-setter. He was strides ahead of us, fledglings, as he read Brahms symphonies at the piano. It was phrase perfect.
I was 13, embarking upon my studies with Lillian Freundlich, who led me by the hand through the great Classical piano literature.
She taught me about the singing tone, how to produce it–and had me drop one note at a time with supple wrists and relaxed arms– Mozart was our vehicle and he could not speed off in a superficial spree of top layer, fingered passages. I had to get into the keys, and draw out the richness of the composer’s operatic musical metaphor. Wolfgang would resonate in all vocal ranges. (The piano, after all, was NOT a percussion instrument) It had an immense reservoir of cantabile.
Lillian played quite beautifully herself. In fact she sang over most of her own music-making, just as Glen Gould was known to do.
Seated at her 1940s Mason and Hamlin grand that upstaged the neighboring Steinway, I felt her looking over my shoulder, drowning out my phrases, shaping lines with her vocal nuances. She sometimes shook her head in a steady beat to prevent me from running off somewhere within my vacillating tempo. She was always there to ground me.
It’s been years! Time waits for no one..
And Mrs. Freundlich is long gone. Yet her presence remains. I felt it keenly when I scooped up an old Mozart Sonata Urtext edition and thumbed my way to Sonata K. 311–the very first one I learned with Lillian.
After 3 hours of careful review, as if I never really left the piece, but merely lifted it from my unconscious, I was uploading the masterwork to you tube.
My REVISIT–At first in slow tempo, (self-instruction)
A brisk play through: