I realize that I don’t post enough. I guess the quarantine has been taking up a lot of my energy getting ready to go back to teaching here at Albion College and trying to figure out what to do with my son’s school. I don’t envy any parent or family trying to make these decisions. But I was reflecting the other day about this project since I have been able to distribute some of my CD recording of the Beethoven Op. 120 recently.
I owe a great deal of gratitude to my late Professor, Edmund Battersby (1949-2016). I miss him so much. It is entirely because of him that I ever connected with Anton Diabelli, Beethoven’s Op. 120, and now my own variations project. Professor Battersby made two landmark recordings on Naxos of Beethoven’s Op. 120–one on a modern instrument, and one on a historical fortepiano. Please check them out. His performances are insightful and inspiring on all levels. I was a doctoral student at the time, and he gave me the greatest possible gift: he asked me to write the liner notes for the recordings. What seemed like a huge mountain of work at the time to a doctoral student with a teaching assistantship and her own practicing and class work to contend with, turned out to be the basis of my dissertation in 2006.
I could not have known at the time what a truly gracious and humbling request this was from my friend and former teacher. I could not have known over fifteen years later, where that endeavor would bring me–how it has made me try to connect with the larger musical world. It was just a simple request from him, and yet it has had profound meaning for me. I wish he were still alive so I could talk to him and reflect with him about this project. While I miss him dearly, I need to pay homage to him and the great gift he bestowed upon me for my musical career. Thank you Edmund! You are loved and missed dearly by so many!