Monday, December 25, 2017

How's Your Christmas?

It's Christmas morning and I've already made my obligatory phone calls and emails and I'm just browsing around. Soon it will be time to start on the preparations for Christmas dinner. I'm having a few friends over, musicians and other folks who are away from their families. You want to see the menu?

Christmas Dinner Menu
Dec. 25, 2017

Prosciutto con melone
Roast Turkey
with stuffing and gravy
Bourbon glazed carrots
Mascarpone mashed potatoes
Special Broccoli


The broccoli and dessert are being brought by guests so I'm not sure what they will be. But if dessert does not appear, I have some Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream that I would serve with fried plantain chips from the last plantains on my banana tree:

First thing on the agenda is to practice some Bach, though. Right now I am working on three of my favorite pieces by Bach, all, as it happens, from the repertoire for solo violin. Here they are. The first is the Siciliana from the first violin sonata, here played by Edson Lopes:

I like the tempo, I like the sound, but I'm not crazy about the key or the arrangement. I think he is playing Segovia's transcription which has a few added bass notes and a spurious sharp. Next is the Andante from the second violin sonata and I'm going to go with Sr. Lopes again. I checked out some others, but they either have what I consider to be completely the wrong tempo, or they are playing funny notes!

Ok, it's a bit stiff, but quite nice, really. Lastly, the Prelude to the Suite for Lute in E major, known as the 4th Lute Suite. This suite, while difficult, is really the most idiomatic, for guitarists,  of all Bach's lute music. I really can't find a version on guitar I like as I think all of the big names, Barrueco, Bream, Williams, all play it too fast. So I am going to go with a version on lute by Hopkinson Smith:

Have a lovely holiday and don't forget to practice a little Bach. It is good for the soul, and it builds character!

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