Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pianist, Jeremy Denk

Violinist, Joshua Bell


by César Franck (1822-1890)

I. Allegretto ben moderato

II. Allegro

III. Ben moderato: Recitative-Fantasia

IV. Allegretto poco mosso


  1. A bit too genteel for anything but background music, IMO. :P

  2. Didn't you listen to the second movement? It's so animated and hyperkinetic it borders on manic savagery. BRILLIANT! DRAMATIC! PASSIONATE! UNRESTRAINED, but filled with much ANXIETY.

    The first movement functions as a long introduction to the second, so we have Musing Meditation that steady gathers in intensity followed by a savage burst of energy leading to EXALTATION.

    The third movement threshes out all the demons in prayerful fashion, then the final movement proceeds in serene triumph with confidence and joy ending in a brilliant ascent towards the Light.

    I played this work frequently with any number of violinists years ago. It's always been one of my great favorites.

    This is one of many excellent recordings of the work available on YouTube. I chose it, because we were talking about pianist Jeremy Denk and the Bach Goldberg Variations recently, and Joshua bell is one of five or six top fiddlers around today.

    Ducky just heard Denk in Boston, and he and I have been discussing Franck, so it all made sense to me to post it here today..

  3. No, I didn't make it all the way through. I couldn't see the carrot. The first movement's hermeneutic code was a bit too subtle for me. ;)

    The hermeneutic code (HER.) refers to any element in a story that is not explained and, therefore, exists as an enigma for the reader, raising questions that demand explication. Most stories hold back details in order to increase the effect of the final revelation of all diegetic truths. We tend not to be satisfied by a narrative unless all "loose ends" are tied; however, narratives often frustrate the early revelation of truths, offering the reader what Barthes terms "snares" (deliberate evasions of the truth), "equivocations" (mixtures of truth and snare), "partial answers," "suspended answers," and "jammings" (acknowledgments of insolubility). As Barthes explains, "The variety of these terms (their inventive range) attests to the considerable labor the discourse must accomplish if it hopes to arrest the enigma, to keep it open" (76). The best example may well be the genre of the detective story. The entire narrative of such a story operates primarily by the hermeneutic code. We witness a murder and the rest of the narrative is devoted to determining the questions that are raised by the initial scene of violence. The detective spends the story reading the clues that, only at the end, reconstructs the story of the murder. See the Star Trek Lesson Plan for an example of a television episode that invokes this code.

    -Roland Barthes, "The Death of the Author"

  4. A better Proairetic code might have helped. ;)

    The proairetic code (ACT.) refers to the other major structuring principle that builds interest or suspense on the part of a reader or viewer. The proairetic code applies to any action that implies a further narrative action. For example, a gunslinger draws his gun on an adversary and we wonder what the resolution of this action will be. We wait to see if he kills his opponent or is wounded himself. Suspense is thus created by action rather than by a reader's or a viewer's wish to have mysteries explained.

  5. Fiddlers?

    Bruce Molsky is a fiddler. Josh Bell is a violinist, no?

    I've come to enjoy Franck, FT. A lack of passion would be the low on my list of his attributes.

  6. @FT --- Suspense is thus created by action

    Action is merely the resolution of suspense. Something the contemporary action movie (there is only one) director needs to learn.
    A session with Hitch is always helpful.

  7. I don't remember saying anything about suspense, Ducky. could your last comment be in reference to something on another thread, perhaps?

    funny you should mention Hitchcock in connection with suspense, because with few exceptions I hve seen most of his movies ten or twelve times at least by now, and even though I know exactly how things will turn out, I still remain fascinated, and get easily absorbed in the atmosphere he so skillfully created. There are only three of his movies I don't like Rope, Torn Curtain and Family Plot and probably Frenzy too. Marnie and the Birds don't work as well as many of the others either, probably because Tippi Hedren was a piss poor replacement for Grace Kelly, and there was no "chemistry" whatsoever between Tippi and James Bond.

    I feel the same about Paul Newman and Julie Andrews. I don't like Newman, and Julie in all her movies except The Americanization of Emily and of course, Victor Victoria, which never fails to amuse me, seems miscast.

    The greater Hitchcock movies work so well because of great casting, wonderful settings, magnificently appropriate background music, and the kind of pacing that pulls you along and keeps you trotting happily from beginning to end.

    I could NEVER tire of The Lady Vanishes, Shadow of a Doubt, the early version of The Man Who Knew Too Much, The 39 Steps, Strangers on a Train (possibly his very best), Dial M for Murder or Rear Window. I try never to miss an opportunity to see any of them.

    I feel the same way about films such as The Maltese Falcon with Bogart, Mary Astor, and Sydney Greenstreet, and the Bogart/Bacall pairings from the forties. The extraordinarily high quality of the MUSIC carries these films to glory.

    Once films started to wax polemical, they lost their magic -- the ability to create and sustain a marvelous exotic ATMOSPHERE filled with mystery, intrigue romance and the spirit of high adventure that painlessly transports the viewer to a different world. A good film is like going on a good vacation -- a rare and wonderful experience.

    Hitchcock knew his primary raison d'etre was to keep audiences enthralled and entertained, and he did, God bless him!



We welcome Conversation
But without Vituperation.
If your aim is Vilification ––
Other forms of Denigration ––
Unfounded Accusation --
Determined Obfuscation ––
Alienation with Self-Justification ––


Gratuitous Displays of Extraneous Knowledge Offered Not To Shed Light Or Enhance the Discussion, But For The Primary Purpose Of Giving An Impression Of Superiority are obnoxiously SELF-AGGRANDIZING, and therefore, Subject to Removal at the Discretion of the Censor-in-Residence.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.