Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A little more Chopin. . . Piano Challenge Song #2

When I flew out to St. Louis the month before my dad died, my sister Susannah had been there taking care of my dad during the days while mom was at work. One-month-old Portia, Bianca (pulled out of her last two weeks of kindergarten), and I moved in to the bed & breakfast--mom's current home now--along with Susannah's family. She had been using music as a coping mechanism and had been working on a song on the hundred-year-old Steinway. A hauntingly, beautiful song by Chopin. His posthumous Nocturne Op. 72 No. 1. I tried to play it once while I was there and couldn't get past the first two lines.

I'd been looking for this song so that I could learn it after I returned home. I got it mixed up with the other Chopin I first learned and then had to order a new book of Chopin's Nocturnes to find it. I've been working on this song for quite some time now and think it's about as good as I'm going to get it. My sister played it as prelude music at my father's funeral before the pianist arrived, trying to fill in some of the silence as people were shuffling in to the church. I'm pretty sure she hasn't played the song since.

My dad is somewhere in this song when I play it. Or the sadness of losing him. At the risk of sounding crazy, I'll even mention that once when I was playing it, I had an experience where I felt like I wasn't playing the song, something beyond me was. Strange, I know, but I don't know how to explain it. Not that I think it was Dad, as he didn't know how to play piano himself. Still, I can't play this song without thinking of him.


rachel said...

Wow. Jeana, that was beautifully performed. Chopin is NOT easy to play and you nailed this!! Hands down he is my favorite composer to play. And you don't sound crazy about feeling your dad when you play this. I have NO DOUBT he is on the bench beside you when you do. Music opens up a conduit right into heaven and I am sure the angels that attend us stop to listen when they hear something of beauty.
And who knows, maybe your dad is taking lessons on the other side...someone has to be giving Heavenly piano lessons...I bet they don't even charge a thing :)

Karma said...

Very pretty. The music Susannah played on was mine from a recital piece I played years ago...to me, it sounds like a completely different song depending on who plays it. I can't play the whole thing anymore but I often play the first section and love it. Have you seen the Secret Garden version that uses this song as the theme music? THat is where I first heard it and chose it for a recital piece.

Jeana said...

I haven't, Karma. I'll have to see if I can find it on youtube.

Cami said...

Such a beautiful post.
I think music is the molecules that bind everything human and real in the world.