Monday, April 20, 2015

#A-TO-Z CHALLENGE 2015 – LETTER “Q” – QUIET, AS IN PIANO, OR PIANISSIMO


I had originally planned on writing about P. D. Q. Bach, everyone's favorite imaginary composer, except that I wrote about him last year, and it would just be a repeat of his stuff like “Suite for Viola 4 Hands” which is really a hoot, and the ever-popular “Beethoven Symphony No. 5 Sportcast” in which, it is a “beautiful night, and there isn't a cloud in the ceiling, so let's throw out the first pitch!” Since I wrote about him last year, as part of my humor series, which frankly, wasn't all that humorous, because I am not inherently funny, and because of some stuff going on in life and some pressing concerts and GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH! I think I probably need to be committed, I have decided to carve out some QUIET time, as in piano, or pianissimo, which is a good thing, because I recently discovered, that all of my years away from symphonic playing, have turned me into a sort of viola-golem, or free-range violist, and my GOD do we need some discipline around here! Especially up there, by Mark Sforzini on the conductor's podium, I'm looking at you, Mary Wallace!


Nothin' to see here; just move along.

You see, my alter-ego, is a schlub, who rats around the mean streets of Tampa Florida, fends off muggers, helps the meek also plays the viola; pretty well at times, pretty horribly at others, because she tends to let her mind drift. What in the hell is going on in her head, only she can say. I ventured in there once, and didn't know what to make of it; but it wasn't QUIET! First off, I ran into this:



Can't say I blame her there, there's an over-rated composer if I ever saw one, but then I started running across a few other things that displeased me:


In short, what's hanging out in pretty much everyone's head, only Mary Wallace's head does it in Trebuchet Sans Serif Bold 12.5 and very colorfully!

Well, this won't do at all. She needs to put these aside and find a true place of calm, quiet. A place where her soul can be at rest for a bit. A place of. . . piano, or even better pianissimo. It didn't help that at a recent rehearsal, the Principal cellist, Fred Gratta kept looking at her, during the Shostakovich, trying to get her to play pianissimo. He was nice about it, but still. . . all those years of playing dance orchestras and with Styx and Smokey Robinson didn't help. AND, this was after the very sweet and talented Viola Principal Allison Kinnel had tried to get you to simmer down! Free-range violists must relearn the old ways, the correct ways, to bring out the emotions. You're no longer in Melbourne, or Sunrise Florida, or wherever, (thank God), you're in the Tampa Bay Symphony! Live up to your heritage and your fine training, Mary Wallace. Remember your muse:


Beethoven and Shostakovich wrote, and conducted during times of war. So many people have been able to create wonderful music during times of stress. Remember that now, especially and for always. You owe this to yourself and your parents, Mary.

If you forget to be Quiet, play piano or pianissimo, you will have me, Viola Fury to deal with, and you do not want to play with me! Go. Make me proud! And for God's Sake! Be Quiet, play piano. Violas! You are not a Panzer Division! ~Dr. Jack Heller.


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