Friday, January 07, 2005

Stuffing my pockets at the bookstore ...

Last night's January twilight was glazed over with ice.

At the bookstore, I just couldn't spend that $35.00 on every last word packaged up so nicely into a new and attractive book
by Mr. Rosen .

So I spent $3.00 on a latte and strapped myself into these damn reading glasses (suddenly they're necessary) and began
stuffing his dry words into whatever pockets I could find in my over-burdened

Now on this brittle January morning I've checked my pockets and found that they must have holes.
I must have littered the parking lot with those well-chosen Charles-Rosen-words.

Maybe there are some in the car.

Some I still had. I found 1814-1819
and nephew
and suffering.
Opus 90 is caught up in that ugly time of deafness and mad desire to take ownership of the nephew.


It's the best of the words. It's always there in Beethoven. Imagine laying such careful plans to disintegrate. Imagine writing such beautiful undoings of beauty (that's not Mr. Rosen. He's better than that. And certainly more careful.)

I scrounged around and found that I still had Mr. Rosen's small and honest confession in one of my pockets. He admits that he's just not clear as to whether the end of the opus 90, having slowed, ought to gear up and move past its original tempo in that final cascade, and then retrieve the tempo in the last two bars ... or simply accelerate just enough to be back by the end.

It is a marvelous uncertainty set down boldly in a stern little font.
I found that reassuring.

And, as always, I again found my own confession. It kicks around in various costumes in virtually every pocket I own.
A nagging little ghost that scratches at the heart, claiming I've missed some elemental piece of knowledge.
Some essential wisdom which will prevent me from playing the music as they say it should be played ....

I just keep digging to see who they might be.

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