Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Noah's Nina

Noah was assigned to learn the "Nina" by Pergolesi in late June. It's a viola rendition of the Italian song "Tre giorni son che Nina." Intensely passionate lyrical stuff. His teacher heard it at his lesson two weeks later. We had been away at camp, and he had missed a few days of practicing, but it was obvious when he played it for that first lesson that it was His Piece. It was a piece he loved, that he had learned well and easily, that fit him like a glove.

Whenever he performs it, the last note is invariably followed by "ahhhs" of rapture from the audience. I thought he stole the show at his SVI recital in a way he's never really be situated to do before. He was left feeling, quite rightfully, that he'd cast an exceptional spell with this piece.

Today the younger three kids and a friend had agreed to provide some musical entertainment at the "Art at the Kohan" event. The stunning Kohan Garden provides the setting for a two-day festival of visual arts. Local artists work and display their work. They worked out a set of two- and three-part arrangements of simple tunes, and the oldest two also agreed to play a solo each. Noah chose the Nina of course. Afterwards, riding high on the "ahhhs" of appreciation, he lingered with his viola at the ready. I had planned to rifle through some unaccompanied Bach on my own viola, but after I played one movement, I realized Noah was still eager. He decided to play a couple more pieces, and he and I did one movement from the Telemann Double Viola Concerto together.

Tomorrow is day 2 at the Kohan, and Noah is keen to perform again. This is new for him, this interest in being in the spotlight and pouring out his musicality with pleasure. We'll do three movements of the Telemann together, and I think we'll save Nina for the end.

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