Today I got a new music book I have been looking forward to for quite some time now: "10 easy pieces" by a Polish guy called Preisner. Most of you know probably know of him because he has written the music to many of the Kieslowski movies, e.g. the trilogy Colors: the Blue, Red, and White movies. The music I have gotten home now is something that was born out of the end of this collaboration. As he himself said, at the funeral of his long-standing collaboration partner:
"When people like Krzysztof die, the question to be answered is whether those of us who are left have enough strength to take over from them. Whether we have enough strength to say, 'Now it's our time. Now look at us'. Do we have enough talent? Until we try, we don't know. We know that there is a future waiting for us. Some of us are involved in the thing called art - I don't like the word, but I don't know a better one. We were born from the art, and were educated by it. And we have a duty to do something more. Somebody has left us something, and we too must leave something, some testimony of our time."
I thought that that quote was so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes. I think that it is so true. We don't know if we have the strength to do something as good as the geniuses that have gone before us. But we have a duty to try - to leave our own personal mark on this particular era.
An interesting side-note on this piece is that it was written in a tight collaboration between Preisner and the pianist who recorded it: Leszek Mozdzer. Mozdzer is a classically trained jazz musician, who apparently have done something I have been thinking about quite a lot, and even played around with a little bit: covers of classical piano pieces. In other words, he takes onto himself the role of the composer, and considers himself as an equal to the composers who wrote the original score. Therefore, the score I just gotten home, is just as much the production of Mozdzer - Preisner intentionally gave him very sketchy ideas, and the printed music are the notes that Mozdzer himself played based on these sketches (in other words: the kind of transcript I would love to have of Jan Johansson's Jazz på Svenska).
In this perspective, it is perhaps also interesting to end with a little update on Beethoven, since it was Beethoven who really brought the stress on following the sheet music into the classical music tradition (before him improvisation and a cover-mentality to performances was as natural as it is in today's pop and rock culture). As I wrote in my plans for 2014, I started the semester by playing the complete op 111 for the first time (it went well!), and I am now practicing - with great enthusiasm - his op 109, and am also preparing for my first rehearsal concert: where I will again play the first sonata: op 2:1. Both things could very well happen before the Summer. And on the op 109 concert, I will only play the last movement, which is around 12 minutes. So then I will probably end with some other things - perhaps an easy piece by Preisner/Mozdzer :)