The Music Box

January 9, 2011
Jenny Bifano, violin
Melinda Coffey Armstead, piano and organ
Concerto in F minor, I Allegro . . . Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Sonata in A major . . . George Frederick Handel (1685-1759)
I Andante II Allegro III Adagio IV Allegro
Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana . . .Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945)
Concerto in A major, I Allegro . . . Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)

Now here is something interesting about violins: a violin is glued together with WATER SOLUBLE adhesive, called "hide glue." This allows easy disassembly for repairs, and a violin is the only respectable instrument so constructed. It is hard to believe myself on this point, but I have done the research and my views carry more weight than I can dispute. It explains why, in the case of a tender-hearted violinist playing something bittersweet in a minor key, and weeping, we may occasionally see a violin disassemble itself. Not to despair, for it may be reassembled without difficulty, and the violinist may later learn to play the piano, which is more resistant to emotional frailty.

Not going to happen this morning, of course, in the professional hands of our wonderful violinist, Jenny Bifano.
The bow is a curiosity in its own right. The strands of fiber are commonly the hairs from the tail of a horse, after removing the horse. They are tensioned tightly by an adjustable knob on the end of the horse, but that is only a paraphrase, as I have misplaced the article.

February 6, 2011
Jenny Bifano, violin
Melinda Coffey Armstead, piano
La Paloma . . .Sebastian Yradier (1809-1865), arr. by Leo Kellis
Adios Nonino . . .Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
Gulinay . . .Piazzolla
Fracanapa . . .Piazzolla
El Dia Que Me Quieras . . .Carlos Gardel (1890-1935)
Por Una Cabeza . . .Gardel
Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 . . .Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959)
Aria (Cantilena)
Sonata in A Major for Violin & Klavier . . .J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
II Andante un poco
Sonata in E Major for Violine & Klavier
III Adagio ma non tanto
Celos (Jealousy) . . .Jacob Gade (1869-1963)
The Argentine Tango invites us to look under the veneer of civilized behavior and deeply into our humanness. Some find it unseemly, but few find it uninteresting. (Of course we face conflict between seemly and interesting every day and have evolved a protocol to balance them, which is mostly successful, except when we are teenagers.) Set to exciting music, the tango is a tense collaboration between a man and a woman, crossing back and forth over the line separating dazzling, bird-like courtship ritual from desire, hostility, jealousy, greed, and machismo. "Steamy" is not too strong. The dance, as you may know, does not derive from stately French or English ballrooms, but rather from the brothels of Buenos Aires, where cucumber sandwiches were never served afterwards.