Sunday in Cranston


One of the interesting things about the piano group is you never know where you’ll be next for a Sunday afternoon soiree. This past weekend it was Cranston, RI, home of one of our members, Richard, who’s a retired doctor (not to be confused with the other Richard, who’s still a practicing doctor, so to speak). Robert and I carpooled down there, as it was a good 70 miles each way, but we got there right on time. Needless to say it wasn’t a large crowd, but large enough, we spent the first hour or so discussing impressionism and Debussy’s Clair de Lune in particular. A few people played it and I brought recordings of Samson Francois (at 4 minutes) and Leon Fleischer (at 5 minutes).

Everyone who played in the recital portion of the program was ready to play, which isn’t always the case. I did my five minutes of Beethoven, the 1st movement of Op 10, No 2. Since we’d come so far, no one was in a hurry to leave, so we hung around for awhile afterwards variously chatting and jamming at the keyboard (Richard has 2 baby grands in his living room, plus a large CD collection of piano music, much of it still in the shrinkwrap). The other Mark in the group (2 Marks, 2 Roberts, 2 Richards, you get the idea) is an afficianado of ragtime, and knowing there would be two pianos brought his own eight-hand arrangement of Joplin’s Chrysanthemum Rag, which we attempted with the two Marks at one piano and the two Roberts at the other. The drive back didn’t seem quite as long, but it was still after 7pm by the time I got home. If Robert were to describe this soiree with his usual flair for words, I’m sure he’d gushingly and enthusiastically call it “very enjoyable”.