When Faure Plays Pavane

I have recently become obsessed with Faure’s Pavane (Op 50). So much so that it’s woven its way into the soundtrack for what I am writing. So much so that I have finally opened my mother’s piano that I have dutifully dusted but not opened in two years, printed a score and begun the laborious process of remembering F-A-C-E and E-G-B-D-F and where the hell is F sharp again.

I have not played since I was 16 and I only played reluctantly then, but there is something beautiful about music moving you so much that you want to be able to be a part of it, to wrestle with it, to let it inhabit your body instead of just being a passive listener.

The score defeats me most days but each time I get one bar down, each time my fingers relearn how to stretch over chords it feels amazing. Then a few days pass and I forget the bar and must relearn it. There is a lesson of some sort there.

There is nothing beautiful about the ‘music’ I am playing right now but it makes me think of mummy playing and daddy sitting and listening to her play. It makes me think of nights when the current went and she would play by candlelight, no score needed, and we would listen to her and laugh and talk. It makes me think of Daddy saying “Gale play the one that sounds like a storm”. Nights like that, it didn’t matter that we were in near darkness because she was the only light we needed. So although Ma preferred Chopin and Beethoven and Dad didn’t know the difference, Happy Father’s Day Daddy, Happy everyday Mummy, I think I’m playing again.

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