A theme from Chopin

There is a really pretty theme on the bottom half of page 12 of his second Piano Sonata that’s really nice:

Check out the last four lines on page 12

It’s in Bbm, which is not a lever-harp-friendly key, so I scooted it up a whole step and am interested in seeing if those four lines can be arranged decently as a short piece for lever harp, or maybe for lever harp and alto instrument. The only accidentals are naturals, so it should be okay on a harp with all open strings, but … I’m not sure if it will work out. It might, but there may be just too much flipping required on a harp-only piece. (This is the sort of thing that cross-strungs are made for.)

Chopin is definitely much more appealing when I’m trying to fit it on another instrument instead of worshipping the immovable black dots which must be followed with the paranoid rigidity of an OCD alchemist. I guess it turns out that I don’t dislike him particularly, despite my youthful experience with him, but that I just dislike having to treat his music — or anyone else’s — like an uncarved block. As long as I approach anyone’s dots as if they are a bucket of legos that I can use to build whatever I like, I seem to be happy.

I’m happy to use someone else’s dots as inspiration for my own ideas; just don’t force me to recite their dots without alteration like tablets from the mountain. It’s either clay for my own pot-throwing, or I’m not interested. I know that this is why I love Händel so much — he wrote his music with the full intention of handing the performer a blob of clay, so his music is really optimized for that. I think Beethoven would be impossible to treat like that and churn out anything worth listening to. The themes in his pieces are packed together like blocks in the pyramids; you can’t even slip a piece of paper between them.


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