On to the rest of my Beethoven collection which contains some box sets, some stand alone’s, some mp3s & some lp to cd transfers. One of the transfers has some piano variations along with my favourite recording of his Piano Concerto #4 – this was an MHS recording that stunned me when I first heard in the 70’s – in the transfer I neglected to make note of the pianist. Often the first version of something I’ve heard becomes my favourite. Listening to it on LSD may have imprinted it on me as well. Although it’s been decades since I’ve done anything more mind altering that coffee there is are few moments in this recording that stun me.
The Box sets are the Piano Trios – 5 cds. All delight, playful and none too challenging. String Quartets: 8 cds – I love these. I enjoy the progression in complexity as I play these in sequence. Plus I enjoy the sonics of the sweep of string quartets and the dynamic interplay of the various players weaving around each other & the melody.
A box set of the Violin Sonatas – 3cds. Again there is a tidy chamber feeling to these, almost intimate tenderness in the interplay between the musicians. A bit too controlled – I like Beethoven when he’s over-the-top & one can sense the challenge to the performers as well as the listeners.
Here too on a mp3 collection are all the symphonies. The 7th has become my favourite with its emotional lilt. It is not, for me, melodramatic like the 5th, over-blown like the 9th nor as cloying as the 3rd. I can listen to the 7th twice in a row, whereas the others once a year can be enough. Beethoven is always on my iPod.
From a box lp set of guitar music etc. by various composers I have his Mandolin & Harpsichord Sonatas: hands up – who knew he wrote for mandolin? His music for piano four hands is a delight & the Missa Solemnis is sublime & up lifting.
Finally there are mysteries about Beethoven’s life – was he Moorish, black – there are theories about his race due to his extremely dark complexion. Was he sexual at all? Who was that ‘nephew’ who lived with him for many years. Plus going deaf & never hearing his greatest works. No wonder he wrote such monumental, powerful music.
Pie Part 2
The door budged a bit with my first blow, and with Miss Griffs leaning on me it gave way with a splintering of wood.
Widow Crofts lay on her face on the kitchen floor. One foot in the dining room and the rest of her splayed out towards the back door. A loosely tied bunch of roses lay by her side. I had to brace myself against the door frame to keep from being toppled on top of her by Miss Griffs.
‘She’s dead.’ Miss Griffs clutched her stomach.
I kneeled down and felt for a pulse in her neck. There was none. The skin was still warm to the touch. I pulled my hand back when I realized the dark pool around her head was blood.
‘I’ll call the police.’
‘Where are you going?’ Miss Griffs followed me outside.
‘To the Fitzpatricks’ two houses down. I know someone is home there.’
‘There’s a phone right there. On the wall.’
‘Best not to touch anything.’
‘Quite right, my girl. Quite right. Hurry.’
I headed down the narrow path between this house and the McGregors’ next to it. I had only gone a few steps when I heard Miss Griffs scream.
‘He’s here. The killer! He’s still here. Help! Help!’
I raced back to see her struggling with a tramp.
‘I knows who you are.’ The tramp had her by the arm.
In one quick step I pulled him away from her and clipped him hard on the chin. I could feel the knuckles in my hand pop from the unfamiliar blow.
‘Wait! Wait!’ The old guy held his hands up as he stumbled back. ‘I do nothing. I help. I pick the apples. I …’
‘Don’t listen to him. He jumped me and tried to do what he did to …’ Miss Griffs was almost hysterical.
‘Willie Johnson, ma’am.’ He reached a gnarled hand out to me. His breath reeked of sour wine. ‘I been giving Missus Crofts a hand around here most of the past summer. And the McGregors there too. Honest. Dave was just here not an hour ago to see Missus Crofts.’
‘I never laid eyes on you before,’ Miss Griffs glared at him.
‘No ma’am, I suppose you haven’t.’ The tramp rolled the edge of his cap between his hands. ‘I stay out of people’s sight as much as I can.’
‘Come with me then, while I go fetch the police.’
When I got to the end of the path Dave McGregor was outside his house looking through the gardening magazine I had dropped off.
‘I didn’t do nothin’.’ Willie shoved me into Dave’s flowering hedge row. His broken shoes flapped on the walk as he ran to the gate. My mail bag was still in the walkway where Miss Griffs had insisted I drop it to help her. Willie sprawled over it to the ground.
‘Hey Dave, ring the police will you? Looks like there’s been some trouble here. I think Mrs.Crofts has been murdered.’ At least that’s what I assumed with the blood.
‘Cassie, murdered!’ He folded the magazine and went into his house. ‘Right on it.’
I helped Willie to his feet.‘If you didn’t do anything, why run?’
‘Who’s gonna believe me?’ Willie shook my hand off.
‘They’re on the way.’ Dave walked around the hedge to join us.
‘You know this guy, Dave?’
‘Willie? Yeah. Shows up every couple of weeks when he needs a bit of booze money. Don’t ya Willie? Not that he does much to earn it. Couldn’t even unscrew a lawn sprinkler yesterday.’
‘You get the police or just having a gab?’ Miss Griffs appeared.
‘Willie’s too fond of his drink to hurt anyone.’
‘No roofs to fix?’ Miss Griffs asked Dave.
‘Had the county surveyor by this morning about this property line out back. Seems the line runs right along my house and not halfway between like I thought. Gives Cassie an extra two feet back there.’
I look down and saw that would mean Cassie’s yard could be pushed over to ruin the prize winning rose hedge that hugged his side of the fence.
March 12, Saturday: attending:
March 16, Wednesday: judging at Hot Damn! it’s a Queer Slam – featuring The Rag Dolls Supermarket Restaurant and Bar 268 Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T2L9
June 3-5: attending: Capturing Fire 2016 – The DC Centre – 2000 14th St NW, Suite 105 – Washington, DC
June 11 – attending: The Toronto Poetry Talks – 10 AM – Metro Hall, 55 John Street, Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6
November 1 – 30 Participating NaNoWriMo
Hey! Now you can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & buy coffee in Washington – sweet,eh? paypal.me/TOpoet