My latest love has been string quartets.  (And by latest, I mean within the last week or so, though I've loved them forever.  They just happen to be on the top of my listening list these past few days.)

In my heart of hearts, I know I was meant to play a stringed instrument.  I love my piano, and I wouldn't give it up.  But almost every day that I play, I wish I could vibrate, or crescendo on a single note.  Or stretch my pitch that one little micro-tone that would give just the right flavor of soul-burn.  And all of these other nuances that make stringed instruments so expressive.  I feel like I could phrase very well with a bow.

I play my friends' instruments almost every chance I get.  Because, of course, I'd rather play a Strad than the student violin I've got sitting in the closet.  Honestly, I sound REALLY GOOD on a Strad.  I know, because I've played one, as well as a Guarneri and a handful of other very fine instruments.  I can play a mean scale, WITH good intonation.  AND I can bang out some simple beginning violin tunes con mucho gusto.

In fact, I became a pianist because of a violinist.  I could write the whole story here, but I've written it already on one of my websites.  I'll leave it to you to find if you're curious.  ;-)

Some days I think,"If I played violin, I would be able to do XYZ just like so.  And it would be freaking awesome."  And right after I think that, I think, "Well, why the hell am I not doing that on piano??? Stupid."

Anyway, so the last couple of quartets that I've been enamored with are the Schubert 'Death and the Maiden' Quartet, which is so fricking amazing, I don't even know how to use words to talk about it.  And Ligeti's String Quartets.  Good Lord.  How?  HOW?  These pieces make me crazy with jealousy, pathos, heartbreak, heaven, hell, and raised blood pressure.

And the improv today?  Meh.  I'm sort of frustrated.

Here we go, Day 96: https://ia600705.us.archive.org/25/items/Improv111811/11_18_112_30Pm1.mp3