I started this a year ago, first on Tumblr (old site), and migrated to our current location, and had the deluded belief that I could listen through about a piece a day and “get” it. I’d listen multiple times and think I could write something intelligent on it. Looking back, that was definitely not the case, and there are at least 15 or more posts that I will be revisiting. I’ll keep the original write-ups for nostalgia, but want to do those pieces justice like I couldn’t before. Myaskovsky 2 and Bruckner 6 and Nielsen 2 come to mind (won’t even link to them; go hunting if you’re that curious; also lazy), among many others. Shostakovich 1 and I think also Prokofiev 4 (2?) are in there. In any case, it’s fascinating to see how my perceptions on music and my tastes and even general sphere of knowledge has changed since then.
While I still sometimes take significant time to “read up” on a piece, (Mahler 6 and Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht come to mind as pieces I listened to for ages and still felt were difficult to write about, although Mahler 6 has really opened up to me more lately), I feel it’s much easier to get the general idea of a piece from a first listen or two (Mahler’s ninth, for example) than it was a year ago. There’s a lot more I have in mind, and I’m even working up to including more Messiaen and choosing a Boulez piece to feature, although they will be in the more distant future.
All that looking back aside, tomorrow’s post is one I have decided was suitable as a good one-year anniversary. It’s interesting to be so familiar with a piece like this one, but also be so unfamiliar with looking at it from a big picture standpoint that I feel it is slightly difficult to talk about. Kind of a “can’t see the forest for the trees” situation, perhaps. So after having spent a number of years with this on repeat, it’s finally time to write about it, and I find the idea frightening, in part because it’s such a familiar piece to almost everyone. I’m doing a bit of scrambling here with it, but we should be okay. See you tomorrow!