“Free at last! Thank God I’m free at last!”
After six weeks of having a splint on my fractured wrist, I’m able to get back to normal and resume playing the organ. You won’t believe how much I’ve missed playing! I had the time, and the inclination, but when I tried to play with the splint, it was “No Go,” and impossible to play fluidly.
Who would have thought that I would have a burning desire to . . . practice? Isn’t this thought of mine amazing — especially for a person who never practiced as a child! You may remember that the late James Holloway used to say that practicing was way cheaper than going to a therapist, but got the same results.
Some time ago, I already decided what was going to be my next project — Bach’s complete Clavierübung III — the so-called “German Organ Mass.” The word “clavierübung” means “keyboard practice,” and was a popular name for keyboard collections. Bach’s “Clavierübung” is a collection of music for the Lutheran service, containing various settings for the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, etc.
According to Wikipedia, “it is considered Bach’s most significant and extensive work for organ, containing some of his musically most complex and technically more demanding compositions for that instrument.” It begins and ends with the Prelude and Fugue in E-flat, nicknamed the St. Anne, because of the fugue subject’s similarity to the beginning of the hymn tune ST. ANNE, “O God our help in ages past.”
You might not know that it was in 1979 that my late husband, Carl Crosier and I did these wonderful pieces with their four-part chorales sung by the newly-formed Bach Chamber Choir. I did play the bulk of the pieces, but Carl played the rest. My task is now to learn all the chorale preludes that Carl played and to review (meaning relearn) the rest of the pieces.
In spite of being “retired,” my time is not as free as I had hoped. I had envisioned retirement as going on a walk every morning, then coming home to practice. Unfortunately it just hasn’t happened — and having my wrist in a splint for the last six weeks surely didn’t help.
As it is, I’m leaving for Connecticut in just two days, so I’ll just be getting started with the learning process when I’ll have to stop for a few days. But when I come back, look out!