rusty squeezebox love

rusty squeezebox

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  • Shaffer's moment of genius, capturing in words the effect of the magical opening of the Adagio from the Gran Partita (K.361).

    "It started simple enough: just a pulse in the lowest registers - bassoons and basset horns - like a rusty squeezebox. It would have been comic except for the slowness, which gave it instead a sort of serenity. And then suddenly, high above it, sounded a single note on the oboe. We hear it It hung there unwavering – piercing me through – till breath could hold it no longer, and a clarinet withdrew it out of me, and sweetened it into a phrase of such delight it had me trembling. The light flickered in the room. My eyes clouded! The squeezebox groaned louder, and over it the higher instruments wailed and warbled, throwing lines of sound around me…"

    April 19, 2008