Beethoven takes up a huge space on my classical shelves – so big it’ll take two posts to go through it all. I think my first Beethoven was an lp of the Pastoral Symphony sold as part of a supermarket series of classical music. I recognized it from Fantasia. I till enjoy it but it isn’t my favourite symphony.
My Beethoven grew grew from there with some Vox Box sets of the piano sonatas. I now have Daniel Barenboim’s 9 cd set of them. I love the romantic rapture of ‘The Tempest’ & ‘Waldenstine’ & the mind boggling demand of ‘Hammerklavier,’ which runs at nearly 70 minutes – imagine playing that on stage – solo, at the keyboard, with no breaks.
On an mp3 collection I have his compete flute music Flute Music to which I added some Buddy MacMaster for a touch east coast fiddle. Plus some Samuel Barber. There is a stand alone of his Lieder: not a form I’m crazy about but I find the chamber setting relaxing.
Another mp3 collection contains his Overtures/Ritterballett/Piano Concertos/Piano 4 Hands/Violin Concerto/Minuets/Dances. I had a cassette of some of the overtures & decided to replace it with & found a iTunes set with all of them plus the symphonies (more about them later) for only $9.99.
A stand alone of the Bagatellen: more like cameo pieces than anything. Diverting light hearted fun, like his dances, the sort of things one doesn’t associate with Beethoven. Miniatures that are sweet. Full of romantic hints but I don’t get lost in them the way I do with the pains sonatas.
for the next several weeks I’m serializing a short story:
Pie Part 1
‘What do you see, Margaret?’ Miss Griffs tugged at my uniform sleeve.
I stood on my tiptoes to look through the back porch window. Most of my view was blocked by an overgrowth of red geraniums.
‘I don’t think there’s anyone home. We’re just wasting our time.’
‘She must be in,’ Miss Griffs insisted. ‘I spoke to Cassie not two hours ago. She said my apple pies would be ready for me to pick up in an hour. So I know she’s got to be here.’
She pulled over the low bench Widow Crofts used to reach lower branches of the apple tree that filled most of the yard behind us. ‘Try this.’
As a mere mailman accustomed to front doors, I felt awkward just being in the back yard of any house. Now I was being coaxed to peer even further into taboo territory. I stepped up on the bench.
‘What do you see?’ Miss Griffs asked before I even had time to focus. With the extra height I was able to see over the plants.
‘I see the dining-room table. Sandwiches.’ I felt the shame I might have had going through another woman’s purse.
‘Sandwiches? She must have had someone in for tea.’
‘Perhaps they’ve gone for a walk?’
‘No. Not when she was expecting me. I had money for her. Cassie wouldn’t miss her pie money for love nor money.’ Miss Griffs cackled at her little joke. ‘Love nor money.’
Cassie Crofts had moved into Pommevale already a widow. Still pert in her forties at the time, she had resisted the attentions of the available local men for the past fifteen years. Even with her comfortable aging figure she still attracted their attention whenever she was in town. Miss Griffs was of the opinion it was Cassie’s catering business that attracted them.
Miss Griffs on the other hand was one of the thin variety. A devoted school teacher for many years, she never found the time nor the need to respond to the occasional attentions of the men who found her attractive. Many thought it was because her sister had disappeared with Miss Griffs’ fiancé on the eve of their wedding.
‘Let me look.’ She nudged me off the bench. ‘Hmm … hmm.’ She stood on tiptoes, craned her neck from one side of the window to the other. ‘My God!’ She almost fell off the end of the bench.
‘I can just peep into the kitchen. She’s in a pool of blood on the floor.’
I stepped to look, but she pushed me towards the door.
‘You knock that door open now, young lady. It shouldn’t give a big girl like you any trouble. Put your shoulder to it.’
‘But …’ I tried the handle to make sure the door was locked. It was. I had hoped the postal uniform would put an end to my being called a ‘girl,’ big or otherwise, yet after three years of the same mail route it still happened.
‘No buts …’
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