Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Friday, November 14, 2008

De Profundis

Over a lengthy period of his life, Liszt worked on a concerto based on a "De Profundis" theme, from a plain chant piece, I think. I don't think it was ever played as a polished piece of work in his lifetime, but it was finished and discovered posthumously. It is very repetitive in the best sense of the term, taking a long, monotonous theme and weaving variation after variation with it. You must like that theme to listen and enjoy that piece. I do.
I am stuck here correcting assignment after assignment; repetitive in the worst sense. Earlier I put on some of Liszt's other concertos, but I had a yen for that obscure piece and have just put it on. It's seldom that a piece of music makes you want to eat it up in one all-encompassing bite, but that's the feeling I just got. I wanted to hear the whole thing now, in one go, altogether. Outside of that long theme (apparently the same note is played something like 33 times, but that can't be right; certainly there are minimal changes), there is little that is modern about the piece, but Liszt when he's good (and he so often is) gets me every time.


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