mozart and messiaen are for the birds

by pieces of moments

It’s been a deliciously lazy few days here in Cambridge. Due to my prolonged and jam packed couple of travel/show/audition weeks my health deteriorated and kept me inside for the entire day Thursday. It was miserable, friends. Don’t get sick. Friday afternoon I felt somewhat better and thought it was about time I get some fresh air and exercise again, so when my roommate, Jean, came home early we decided to walk that great divide that separates Cambridge from Boston (known as the Charles River) to run some errands. It has been brisk up here in the East and our mid-afternoon promenade was a little preambulary ode to autumn as we trooped across the bridge in our hoodies and scarves.

The main goal for the day was to purchase a recording of Mozart’s Requiem for one of Jean’s students. I love the Mozart Requiem. I went through a solid several weeks when I was 19 or so where I listened to it every day, and occasionally more than once per day. I really can’t tell you what it was that grabbed me so much about it back then to give me the desire to hear it on such a frequent basis. I supposed you could chalk some interest up to my general preoccupation with last works of composers, but that certainly does not account for all. Anyway, it was interesting to listen to it again tonight while I was preparing dinner as it wafted out of our stereo system – the first time I have heard it in its entirety in years.

Well, did you guess what that was all leading up to? If you guessed it was that they found a new Mozart work you are correct! And Oh, goodie gumdrops! Because we don’t have enough Mozart already! I know, I know, I’m a disgrace to my field. Musicologists everywhere are rejoicing for a new discovery, and possibly clues to unravel the great mysteries of…uh…I guess his other gazillion works. I guess it just frustrates me that such a ruckus is raised for a few more pages added to an enormous oeuvre and yet it takes nearly a moving of heaven and earth to get brand new pieces added to the regular ‘Top 40’ hit list played by orchestras year after year. I mean back in the day, you know, the 18th century, concerts were about hearing new pieces. People didn’t have cd players, or ipods, so you went to concerts and you heard what was new. How rare it was that you would hear something twice. Doesn’t that blow your 21st century mind?! One of my greatest regrets as a musician, and musicologist, is the lack of an operational time machine. Sigh. What I wouldn’t give to have 18th century ears, or 16th century, or 19th century ears whenever I would want them. Our over saturated 21st century ears take so much of our sonic experience for granted.

Don’t worry. I worked out my frustrations over these issues by baking some pumpkin spice pecan muffins with a cream cheese frosting. Yum! Oh, and you know that it made our apartment smell so perfectly autumnal and cozy what with fall descending upon our summer reveries come this Monday. And cream cheese frosting! Who doesn’t adore cream cheese frosting? Jean and I enjoyed our inaugural bites with some freshly brewed Earl Grey tea served in my brand new teapot that I was apparently meant to have. You see, it’s a tea pot I saw time and time again in the gift shop at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Why didn’t I purchase said tea pot on one of those many occasions? The $88.00 price tag my friends.

Now, I’m not cheap by any means, ask any of my friends and they will tell you likely quite the opposite, but in these leaner times I was trying to do my part as well and frankly, $88.00 seemed a bit excessive for this particular tea pot (adorable as it is). On our ramble in Boston we stopped by our favorite place to stock our closets and houses with style – Anthropologie. As I meandered through the housewares and then poked my way through the housewares sale corner my eyes looked up to scan the top shelf, caught a glimpse of something, and then looked elsewhere. It was only after a couple of perusals that I realized what was hidden behind one of the lampshades – my tea pot! It was marked down twice. $88.00. $49.95. $19.95 … $19.95!

Yes, that is an upside down oriole painted on the tea pot. Isn’t it delightfully topsy-turvy?  Maybe I should listen to some Messiaen while it is in use.