Sunday, December 07, 2014

Ferguson, Staten Island, and Advent

One lesson of the last few weeks I have tried to take very much to heart:

We must learn in this country how to better acknowledge our privilege.

This is not about “white guilt,” which is simply a mode of hiding our power behind a selfish facade of shame — a most insidious liberal piety!

Nor is this about mere “personal responsibility” — that hideous idol of the right that is blind to all the ways oppression is sustained systemically in our common culture.

No, this is about stepping back far enough to see how the simple accident of birth clothes us in undeserved power and rights over others.

And how by seeing, then, we might be offered a choice in the shared future we are willing to pursue alongside all of our sisters and brothers.

Friday, June 13, 2014


Among my first attempts at studying Rachmaninov, recorded this afternoon while practicing at church. . .

Lots of voicing, many choices, and an almost endless sea of detail:

Prelude in D Major, Op. 23, No. 4

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Love, Ludwig

Ludwig van Beethoven:

Der Kuß (The Kiss), Op. 128 (c. 1798)
Poetry by Christian Felix Weisse (1726–1804)

Adelaide, Op. 46 (c. 1796) 
Poetry by Friedrich von Matthisson (1761-1831)

Steve Beecroft, Tenor
Richard Edward Helmer, Piano

Recorded live at The Redwoods Auditorium
Mill Valley, California
May 13, 2014

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Songs of Travel

Songs of Travel by Ralph Vaughan Williams
poetry by Robert Louis Stevenson
Steve Beecroft, Tenor
Richard Edward Helmer, Piano

The Vagabond
Let Beauty Awake
The Roadside Fire
Youth and Love
In Dreams
The Infinite Shining Heavens
Whither must I Wander
Bright is the Ring of Words
I Have Trod the Upward and the Downward Slope

Recorded live at The Redwoods Auditorium
Mill Valley, California
May 13, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

To Clara from Johannes

Here is my rendition of Brahms' Theme and Variations in D Minor, his own transcription for piano of the second movement of the String Sextet in B-flat, Op. 18. In 1860, he offered this as a birthday gift to Clara Schumann, concert pianist and life-long friend. The work was not published until 1927.
A sextet has six voices (more if the strings are playing chords).
I was given only two hands.
Definitely a study in transcriptions!
Recorded live at The Redwoods Auditorium, Mill Valley, California
May 13th, 2014