"Like Adam, we have all lost Paradise;
and yet we carry Paradise around inside of us
in the form of a longing for, almost a memory of,
a blessedness that is no more,
or the dream of blessedness that may someday be again."
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat
It's Spring! Or...is it? In the grand Pacific Northwest, we have been experiencing sun, rain, hail, corn snow, and the other night - thunder and lightning! Though it is cold, I love seeing signs of life returning: cherry blossoms, tulips, azaleas. Even my berry bushes and hydrangea are beginning to leaf, and I anticipate warmer days...soon?!
It has been a while since I have shared my music with you, and I am excited to give you a glimpse of what I have been working on since 2020. In the early days of the pandemic, I felt much darkness due to social isolation, political unrest, and a general spiritual heaviness. In some ways, light and joy have returned, but in other ways the darkness persists. I am sure you feel this in some measure.
We long for better days, for harmonious relations between people, for physical and mental healing, for our world to be put right. To me, this longing is so well captured in the song "Over the Rainbow."
The same longing, but with a bit of nostalgia mixed in (as in the quote by Buechner, above), is expressed by Sergei Rachmaninoff in the Prelude in D.
Finally, the longing is at least partially fulfilled in a love relationship intimately, yet passionately, demonstrated in Franz Listz's Liebestraum No. 3.
For the Christian, these longings find their fulfillment in a relationship with the Creator God, who sent Jesus as a bridge to make right our relationship with Him. And we rest our hope on this same Jesus, who will one day return to put all things right. This is what we celebrate at Easter - looking back at what God has done, and looking forward to what He will do.
God does not create a longing or a hope without having a fulfilling reality ready for them. But our longing is our pledge, and blessed are the homesick, for they shall come home.
Isak Dinesen, Babette’s Feast and Other Anecdotes of Destiny
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
(John 3:16 NIV)
I hope you enjoy this music, and that it causes you to reflect and celebrate as we enter this Easter weekend!
Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 2
In 2019, I had the privilege of performing Felix Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Kirkland Civic Orchestra. This is a piece I had studied in college, and it is one of two concerti that Mendelssohn wrote. Both demand sparkling, fast fingerwork, and both contain some of the most beautiful melodies. Beyond that, they are such fun to play! At long last, I am happy to share video of the performance with you.
One of the pianists I follow is Angela Hewitt, who is a wonderful interpreter of Bach. She most often performs on a Fazioli piano. Here is a wonderful documentary of the Fazioli piano, accompanied by a beautiful soundtrack of pianists. (Fair warning: the video is in Italian, with English subtitles, so you will need to carve out time to watch it. It's worth it!)
Around the Web
In my January newsletter, I mentioned a new show in the UK called "The Piano." Here is a follow-up piece about one blind pianist that appeared on the show. Read the article and click on the associated links. The documentary is particularly fascinating, as it gives a glimpse of how a piano teacher works with this severely challenged student - with amazing results.
And...Frances Wilson, the Cross-eyed pianist, gives her thoughts on the show.
Needing inspiration? How about a concert by a local 91-year-old pianist? Bellevue pianist Michi Harata North will perform this April 16th.
Some behind-the-scenes talk about performance anxiety and memorization, topics on the Cross-eyed Pianist's new podcast.
Beautiful video, beautiful lyrics, and beautiful music: "He will Hold me Fast" by Keith and Kristyn Getty
This content is from Cori's March-April 2023 Newsletter. If you would like to receive her newsletters in your inbox, click to subscribe here.