Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Piano Trio I

One of the disadvantages of being largely self-taught in classical music is that there are huge gaps in my listening experience, and chamber music has unfortunately been one of the objects of my ignorance. I have enjoyed some small corrections to these gaps, which started with a profound post by Jeremy Denk on the slow movement of Schumann's piano trio in d minor. Denk uses the opening bars of this movement to demonstrate accidents of meaning, and goes on to ruminate on musical risk:

If you press play on the CD player and the music comes to you like water from a faucet, don't you feel there is something in the medium that takes something for granted, in which this sort of risk does not figure? Recorded risk seems like a bit of a contradiction.

This message goes to the heart of the aspects of music that I'm trying to explore, something about the nature of music itself. It's a fabulous post -- as they say, read the whole thing. All four movements of the trio are great, and it's available on emusic.