Saturday, 4 April 2015

Fauré

At the end of a quieter, more reflective day yesterday, I was reminded again why Fauré is one of my favourite composers. Drinking a cup of tea before bedtime we listened to a wonderful CD of Pascal Rogé playing a selection of his solo piano music. Fauré has an incredible knack of making melodically, harmonically and technically complex music sound simple and straightforward, and an absolute delight to the ear. He ranges across the whole of the keyboard, and creates some wonderful effects without ever showing off. He has a particular skill in getting three things going at once – a lower part underpinning it all, a top part rippling around the upper octaves, and something in the middle that is integral to the whole, complementary to the other parts, and shared between the two hands of the pianist. Rogé's skill in making completely transparent the transitions between the two hands takes my breath away. I know how difficult it is because I've tried it. Fauré's genius lies, at least in part, in writing music in which a trained ear can relish the complexities, while the less trained finds something supremely enjoyable without necessarily understanding all that's going on.

When we were buying Erin Mae, we found the original owner had specified some extras, including a semi-decent sound system. What we didn't know then was how much power such luxuries consume. With battery charge an issue every cruising period so far, electronic pleasures have been limited. This year we have hopefully sorted out the batteries, and are about to treat them to some solar-derived power – the planning is done, and we're in the process of ordering the bits. So when we're up on the Leeds and Liverpool, and at a polite distance from the neighbours, we may find we've enough electrons left over to provide us with some auditory wonders from time to time.

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