Opus 109 … Saint Cecelia’s Day

Opus 109 st Cecilia’s day. Becca’s text

After a cold day on the bike yesterday and the move from the warmth and comfort of Anna’s lovely home and family, I was very tired.
Betti complete with little Zsofi bundled up on the front of the bike and 2 brave boys, whose chains had come off the front gear had come to a precise spot to meet me, and I had come to a precise spot a few corners away!! I was anxious about the little one being cold and we were not quite managing to join up the dots. I decided it might be better to stay still and wait for inspiration and just then a car with waving Betti in it drew up. An “uncharacteristically” (a few people now have spoken of the lack of care for each other in Hungary and the sadness of this) kind gentleman with a wonderful moustache had spotted me a few moments before and delivered Betti to me!
We had a beautiful ride through leaf strewn woods, which in the dusk were so enchanting with the mist beginning to rise through the bare bones of the trees. The little boys manfully denying the cold and pedaling away as fast as their little legs could go as soon as I closed on them!
And finally into the warmth of another Steiner household, with a big fireplace through to a stove at it’s back, lots of lovely wood everywhere in the construction, and Betti’s beautiful felt creations around the house.
This morning I was treated to a peep into another gorgeous Kindergarten and a short chat with their lovely teacher revealed that I am being enthusiastically followed by her biking husband and others! I am just so touched by this and again reminded that this journey is SHARED and inspiring …. It is not my personal property, it belongs to all of you and in this I am a very privileged participant. In fact I feel very much this way about music-making… we are in it together, creating the music afresh, as listeners and co-creators, responding together to something that unifies and touches us deeply if we allow it to.
At last, a piano, and I settled down happily to play/practice on Betti’s piano when we got back from taking Mich to school.
Opus 110 …. beautiful, but needs some attention to the tricky gymnastics in the 2nd movement.
Opus 109…. again, some tidying up to do especially in the stormy 2nd movement and the dare devil 3rd variation of the last movement… Then the second of those descending left hand passages while the lower end of the right hand trills and the little finger punches the off-beat top note theme.
Yes, beginning to improve, so I return to the ecstatic 4th variation in all it’s tranquil calm and tenderness, to see if I can run it through to the end.
The sound of baby-on-the-verge-of-sleep-breathing makes me listen especially carefully to the final holy bars of the very ending and I am in tears of gratitude for this almighty journey in life. For being safe and sound after the close encounters with bullying lorries coming to within a terrifying hairs breadth of my handlebars. For being able to find shelter food and warmth in these freezing cold days and for the comfort of friendship and kindness from the wonderful people I am meeting. A timely text within minutes of stopping from Becca to wish me a Happy St. Cecelia’s Day. She is far more cultured than I am, and it was she who had to tell me that this is the Patron Saint of Music, looking in to say “Hello”.
I have had twinges of regret that I have written very little so far about the music… The whole inspiration behind the journey. I can see that it is a matter of “all in good time”. Without the accumulative months on the road in all kinds of circumstances, I would not, in the early days, have been able to carry quite the depth that has now begun to settle and claim me so fully.
That the journey has continued to come towards me in such a spontaneous and often so magical way is something I will always be profoundly touched by.
It truly seems that I have stepped onto a miraculous flying carpet and that some hidden Universal Power is conducting operations from somewhere behind the scenes. I am honoured and for as long as it continues, I am happy to be a guest!
People have sometimes asked me if I am not scared to be traveling alone.
The other day as I was pedaling towards Piliscsaba on a busy main road I was drawing up a sort of list of ‘things that go bump in the night’
It is not quite what one might expect! It goes something like this….

The thought of resuming a ‘normal’ sensible life one day.
Administrative tasks.
Falling over. (I don’t bounce so well and I don’t want to hurt myself)
Losing my phone/map/anorak/helmet with indispensable mirror!
Meeting a bear and not knowing what to do!
Is the bike too heavy?

I think there might have been more, but that’s about it really!
I sometimes find myself talking to myself in a critical or judging way… indulgent, self centred, looking for recognition, it’s a great big meaningless extravagance…. and then somebody writes to me… for instance, Hans and Elenor Sollerman (with whom I am still in touch, who you may remember took me to their summer home near Lidjöping and showed me all around their favourite places… it was thanks to them that I ended up playing in Björka Säby) sent me the most wonderful text message recently. They had just received a recording I had made of the last 3 sonatas. I’ll quote it because it came just as I was in one of those gluey mires of despond.
“Hi our dear friend. Wonderful music from cd this morning was breathtaking. thanks Jenny for your lovely music, we miss you! Hans and Elenor and Richard”.
This is such an affirmation that it helps to dispel these doubting Thomas voices when they attempt to undermine the heart of the vision. Isn’t it marvelous that the modern tools of technology, and about which I am often so negative can provide such instant comfort? I take my hat off to travelers of yore who must have been so incredibly self-reliant.
Of COURSE I love a bit of recognition!!! Lap it up! I’m a performer after all, and always will be.
Those of you out there who so kindly follow my progress, although I may not know who you are, I can see from the clever blog machinery that sometimes as many as 60 or more people check up on me during just one day. Thank you. Those of you who persevere with the blogging tricks as far as sending messages, you make a huge difference to me and you never know quite what the impact will be, especially if I am in the throes of an inner Beethovian struggle! It is an enormous support, for which I am so grateful.
Here I am in Nagykovasci, Zsofi is awake and there is a wonderful smell drifting upstairs from the kitchen. I am about to investigate.
Warm wishes to you all.

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2 Responses to Opus 109 … Saint Cecelia’s Day

  1. Barbara Baron says:

    Greetings and thank you for your lovely blogg, from a not yet wintery Adelsö. Titti and others also tell med to send you greetings. Here everything goes on as it should, it is warm indoors, lot of fallen leaves on the grund an increasingly shorter day.
    I think you are very brave to be cykling along in the hungarean countryside where lots of peopare don´t even try to speak a foreign language, are wildly nationalistic, authoritarian and suspicious of real democracy…. Well, from their experiancies of communism they have retorted to some memories of the “greater” hungary of former days or …. Well, coming from there to begin with, I do not admire what it has come to. But you seem to have met very nice people.

    Love from misanthropic (regarding hungarian politics) but otherwize happy and mildly optimistic
    Barbara

  2. sheila says:

    Another wonderful catch up with your journey. Amazing . Thanks for post for Margaret and me.Take care and keep warm,and happy travelling. Lots of love xx

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