Goings On About Town: Classical Music
Inna Faliks: “Music/Words”
The pianist begins her third season of concerts with poetry, presenting an evening featuring readings by the poets Sandra Beasley and Oni Buchanan as well as music by Sofia Gubaidulina, Liszt, Ravel (“Gaspard de la Nuit”), and Augusta Read Thomas.
Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia St. 212-989-9319. Nov. 21 at 6 PM.
I have to admit, I am a little starry-eyed to read with Oni and Inna. (And as I confessed to a friend, "never before has my name seemed so...uninteresting.")Here is a clip of Inna Faliks at the piano:
There is a lovely extended rumination on Inna's musicianship, and the philosophy of the Music/Words series, courtesy of Chris Kompanek ("The Avantgardist") over at the Classical TV Blog. An excerpt:
Faliks got an early career start, making her professional debut as a concert pianist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when she was just fifteen and has played all over the world since. In that time, she’s developed a love of literature and poetry that informs her musical choices. It’s not a coincidence that she discovered Pasternak’s compositions. While Verse is a completely instrumental album (despite its title’s suggestion), the liner notes contain poems by Pasternak and Edgar Allen Poe along with Aloysius Bertrand’s “Gaspard de la Nuit”, which inspired Maurice Ravel’s piece of the same name.You can read the whole piece here, and I hope to see you tonight...
By keeping the music and lyrics separate, Faliks forces the listener to make decisions about the connections between the two. Does the poem move at a pace directly correlated with the music or does it exist in a more abstract realm to be read and digested at the listener’s leisure? It all depends on how you approach it. This is particularly true of Sergei Rachmaninov’s Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-Flat Minor, Op. 36, which Faliks pairs with Poe’s “The Bells," a whimsical and gothic poem divided into fours sections that detail sleigh bells, wedding bells, alarm bells, and finally, the tolling of the bells. Rachmaninov’s sonata has just three movements, so we immediately have to make a decision of where the break should occur. Should wedding bells sound ominous or cheerful? Should they be frantic or slow-paced. Quiet or loud? The piece and poem can be paired to reflect the listener’s outlook on life or contrast completely with it.