Still My Favorite

I posted about this ages ago, when there were only two minute clips available online.

Now YouTube can blessedly make the whole thing available, no longer limited to those ten minute segments even.

What it is, is the local station broadcast one of Foote’s other chamber pieces — the Piano Quartet — and it set me off, so that I went looking for this, then went for the gold and found the entire score for free, along with a gazillion others by the same composer, Goddess bless the Internet. I restrained myself as much as I could and only printed out this one, so that, despite a pianistic dexterity that could be bettered by a bonobo chimp armed with a two-by-four, I can (as long as I’m alone in the house) go down to the music room and fumble my way through the easier passages to my heart’s delight. I think Foote’s hand must have spanned a major ninth: the piano part keeps heaving them up. (I can just about flog a tenth if I go on the edge of the keys, so I’m safe.) I believe I have heard somewhere that Rachmaninoff had a twelfth. People with these gifts like to show them off.

Right there at 7:35. Or again at 25:00. Shamelessly lush, ruthlessly dense, like drinking Spatlese in a room full of velvet curtains and chandeliers, or a chapter from Huysmans. This guy was a Unitarian kapellmeister? It would probably be bad for your triglycerides to listen to this kind of thing every day but some Bach or Arvo Part ought to be a tonic.

There are a load of vocal pieces, too, with dedications to such entities as “The Impromptu Club of Walton, Massachusetts” and  lyrics by the likes of Tennyson. I’m in big trouble here.


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