Normally the Classics a Day theme for May involved May Day (#SovietaDay). Having a theme centered around social distancing/self-quarantine seemed more appropriate. The challenge for May is post works for unusual solo instruments or works about solitude.
Here are my selections for the final week of #ClassicalDistancing
05/25/20 Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020) – Cadenza for solo viola
In this eight-minute work, Penderecki explores all the possibilities of the instrument. The notation is somewhat vague, letting the player decide how best to phrase the music.
05/26/20 Robert de Visée (1655-1733) – Prelude and Allemand for Theorbo
The theorbo was similar to a lute. In addition to its outsized appearance, it also had a much lower range.
05/27/20 Mitchell Peters (1935-2017) – Yellow After the Rain
Peters was the principal tympanist and percussionist for the LA Philharmonic. Of his many compositions for percussion, this solo marimba piece is his best-known.
05/28/20 John Dowland (1563-1626) Lachrimae
Dowland’s 1604 collection Lachrimae pavans is titled “Seaven Teares.” Each refers to a different type of crying: old hurt, new hurt, love lost, etc.
05/29/20 Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-18270 – Prisoners Chorus
Near the end of “Fidelio,” prisoners are released from the dungeons. As they make their way out of their cells, they sing “Oh what joy, in the open air freely to breathe again!” We may sing this as well when restrictions are lifted.