I had rather hoped to wake up this morning with even a little bit of snow on the ground, but it was just icy and rather grey. Instead, we had half an hour of sleet in the afternoon. Great clumps of soggy wetness that turned to water as soon as they hit the ground. At least it was fun to watch – from inside, snuggled up in my over-sized woolly jumper with a cup of tea!

My painstaking efforts with the Bach E minor sonata are definitely starting to pay off – I’m almost there with memorising the first movement! While it in itself doesn’t seem like much, thinking through all the exercises that I’ve committed to memory over the last three and a half months does make me feel like I’ve achieved quite a bit. The Maquarre exercises are also coming from memory, and I made it through to D minor without glancing at the music this morning. After spending quite a bit of time in flat key territory with them (starting at the top of the page, it works through from C major in descending 5ths), I was really excited to find that the tail end of the circle from A major to E minor felt very easy.

Trevor cancelled our walk again this evening, but my proposal of chamber music was finally taken up and I walked over to the Old Dairy to play quartets with the girls there. We read through some lovely Schmitt, an arrangement of Chopin piano preludes (nice melodies, but my 3rd flute part was rather dull), Ravel’s Pièce en forme d’Habanera for four flutes, and then ended up once again with the Furstenau Op. 88 quartet that we read last time.

I love the last movement of this piece, which is variations on Deutschlandlied (the German national anthem). I can’t find any recordings of the flute quartet on youtube, but there are several of the tune in its original and arguably more pleasing form. It was originally written by Haydn as the slow movement of his Op.76, No. 3 string quartet, the ‘Emperor’. This is a recording of the wonderful Takacs quartet, and though the slow movement starts at 9:35, I’ve just very happily listened to the whole thing through twice!

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