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1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Treasure Chest

Sheila has just had a treasure chest smuggled to me by James, Mignon’s husband. A dozen books, old letters, a diary of her 1985 trip taking Mother Mary right around those small islands which made such a damn nuisance of themselves in the era they call the Breetish Empire Daze. Of course, they’d just say ‘The Empire.’

So where to start among these riches, which could take ages to sort through? Here:

I now know that in November 1957, at a concert to raise funds for the Harrismith hospital, venue ‘Kerksaal,’ Mom Mary played this piano solo – Rustle of Spring by Christian Sinding:

. and in March 1957 at an earlier concert – also funds for the hospital – Mona du Plessis played Chopin’s waltz in E minor:

At the March concert, Mary also sang with Mona and Esther Mouton in a ‘vocal trio,’ and in another trio with Trudy Else and Esther, they sang ‘Come To The Fair.’

Mary also played Cecile Chaminade’s ‘Pierette’

~~~oo0oo~~~

Also my letters from America, from Veld and Vlei. from the army in Potchefstroom and to Mom and Sheila in the UK. Lots of work!

Oh – and under all this good old stuff there was a bottle of champers and a bottle of red! Sheila and James run a proper smuggling ring!

Categories
1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Chopin Mom Used to Play – Mazurka in b minor Opus. 33 No. 4

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1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Chopin Mom Used to Play – Polonaise in A flat major Op.53

The whole thing goes over seven minutes. I copied just the part I remember from Rumiko Isaksen on vimeo.com

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1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Chopin Mom Used to Play – Waltz Op.69 No.2

More Chopin I grew up listening to. Beautiful music ingrained in my brain. These tunes brings back sweet memories.

– the lounge on the right –

~~~oo0oo~~~

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1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Chopin Mom Used to Play – Nocturne E Flat Major Op.9 No.2

No.6 of Mom’s Chopin repetoire – played at night on the Bentley upright while we lay in bed listening down the other end of the long passage. Sometimes she would practice her hymns for Sundays – she played the organ at the Harrismith Methodist church for a hundred-odd years – sister Sheila christened her ‘Mary Methodist’ cos o’ that. Other times were not as classical, nor as holy – that would be when friends gathered round the piano full of smoke and booze and belted out popular tunes with various degrees of talent.

Thanks again to the pianist standing in for Mary now that she’s 91 and can no longer read her sheet music. She still plays, but her favourite popular tunes ‘off by heart.’

In the comments Sheila informs me it was a Venning – Barbara or her daughter Lel who first christened her Mary Methodist. Well, it stuck!

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1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Chopin Mom Used to Play – Fantaisie-Impromptu Op.66

No.4 in a series of Chopin pieces our Mother Mary would play. Our childhood was filled with sublime music emanating from down the passage. I have invited sundry pianists to play them here as I have very few recordings on Mom’s classical playing!

Thank you, guest artists and youtube for standing in for Mom!

Mom still plays at 91, but can’t read the music anymore, so she plays her huge repertoire of popular songs from the 30’s to the 60’s maybe – ‘off by heart.’ I’ll post some of those later – with the REAL person playing!

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1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Chopin Mom Used to Play – Waltz in C sharp minor Op.64 – 2

No.3 in a series of Chopin pieces our Mother Mary would play in our lounge in Harrismith back in the Sixties. Our childhood was filled with sublime music emanating from down the passage. I have invited sundry pianists to play them here as I have very few recordings on Mom’s classical playing! Thank you, guest artists and youtube!

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1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Chopin Mom Used to Play – Minute Waltz

No.2 in a series – Mother Mary would play the Bentley upright piano in our lounge. My childhood was filled with sublime music emanating from down the passage.

SO: I have invited some lesser pianists to play in her stead. Thanks to them and to youtube!

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1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia Family

Chopin Mom Used to Play – Grande Valse Brillante Op.18

Mother Mary would play the Bentley upright piano in our lounge. My childhood was filled with sublime music emanating from down the passage. My memory bank is filled with wonderful sounds that bring back mostly happy memories! At 91 she now plays her popular pieces from memory. Her classical pieces she would read the music – she can’t see well enough to do that anymore. Sister Sheila has recorded many of her popular songs, but we have few of her classics. A great pity. SO: I have invited some lesser (! I am slightly biased) pianists to play in her stead. Thanks to them and to youtube we can hear the music again!

Here’s No.1 – enjoy!