Music Drawers and Piano Benches

Wednesday, July 21, 2010 - 12:00 AM

Monday night I played a recording of J.S.Bach's Capriccio on the Departure of his Beloved Brother. It's one of those pieces that at times sounds easy enough for a novice. Bach was in his teens when he composed it.

I've never seen the score and I'm reluctant to buy it because of all the other music I own that I've never learned and most likely will never get around to learning.

Most of the music books I’ve collected over the years are for piano. I also have sacred vocal music and a lifetime supply of Protestant Hymnals. And then there’s the event specific sheet music, such as weddings and furniture style music.

I’ve gotten rid of music over the years, recorded and scored music. What's left, I'm keeping. Among the treasures: Bach’s WTC--it’s falling apart but .... then there's Franz Liszt and Art Tatum transcriptions--can’t play them but, Rachmaninoff, Spirituals and Chopin anything, all keepers. 

I'm wondering what's in your piano bench or music drawer.

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Comments [4]

jfp from NJ

Good question!! After my grandmother died, and her house was cleared out, he ancient organ was installed in my parents' house. And no one had bothered to look inside the bench, where a treasure trove of piano music from the early 20th century lived. It's all boxed up and in a closet - I no longer have a piano or organ. However, my bucket list includes playing piano again, as well as singing torch songs in bars. Perhaps some of this music will see the light of day!

Jul. 23 2010 02:25 PM
Eileen from New York, NY

when I heard Jeff mention this the other day on his broadcast it put a big smile on my face. I thought to myself, "what a cute title" It immediately brought me back to my piano playing days were I inherited a set of leather bound books entitled "International Library of Music" No 1 is well used - No. 8, not so much! They belonged to my brother who is now 73 so you can see how old they are. They have followed me from move to move and although I don't play anymore......I would NEVER part with them, they are the classic!

Jul. 23 2010 10:36 AM
Michael Meltzer

Mr. McKnight:
You should no more want to part with that old music than with the tattered photographs of family and friends who were once right in the middle of your life. Every piece, no doubt, is a memory.
You have told us more about who you are in those few paragraphs than in all your hundreds of hours of air time.
If WQXR is where you want to be, I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't want to wish you a continued long and happy tenure.

Jul. 21 2010 08:14 AM
John J. Christiano from Franklin NJ

My grandfather learned to play honkey-tonk piano in his father's tavern and left behind a pile of his sheet music; mostly ragtime stuff.

My father played sax and clarinet in his high school band so we've got a handful of his music books as well.

My stuff? Choral arrangements, since I'm a tenor. Church, classsic art songs and arias.

My son? Piano books left over from his lessons.

Four generations of music! Let the band play on!

Jul. 21 2010 07:55 AM

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