For the coming months, I plan to have a few seasonally appropriate selections of recorder music, starting with this one today. Of course the idea of autumn under the present circumstances–when central North Carolina has lately been experiencing torrential rains and persistently overcast skies more indicative of spring than fall–is somewhat tenuous. Still I feel that my music would be more consonant with the theme of my blog if I would make regular use of the seasons as a point of departure. As such, this Adagio by Robert Valentine provides a melancholic accompaniment to the changing colors, cool nights, and shortened days of the season. Coincidentally the melancholic temperament was traditionally associated with fall in medieval Europe and happens to be my own temperament as well. So there’s plenty of room for overlap here.
I should say a few words on the piece itself. First of all, pardon the duck lips. I was very tired when recording this and obviously wasn’t circumspect regarding my facial expression. Second of all, while the tempo of this adagio is very slow and doesn’t allow for quite as many virtuosic fireworks as I enjoy, I was able to incorporate some new ornaments which I’ve been mastering lately. These are basically slides–which is not a technical term but which describes them more meaningfully than their traditional labels–which I’ve used to bridge the gaps between notes. They’re a graceful way to add flavor when the piece being played could be mistaken for a funeral dirge.
Speaking of dirges, I have some spooky music planned for Halloween. It may or may not materialize, since I haven’t been able to find suitable sheet music for it and may end up attempting to reconstruct it by ear. I hope I can make it happen in the coming weeks; but even if I can’t, I have more definite plans for the holiday season which should be appealing to those with an interest in Christmas carols. Personally I’m not religious–though I am intensely ethical–but I have an unabashed soft spot for holiday music. It also doesn’t hurt that my birthday is December 25th.