Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday With Ted

On Christmas morning, I received a delightful phone call from a dear friend of mine, Ted Haddin. As a Christmas greeting, he read a Christmas poem that he had written, then dropped the phone and played the beautiful Coventry Carol for me on his 250-year-old violin.

Ted's a true Rennaissance man, with an astonishing range of talents and interests. He is a published author and poet, a former professor at UAB, he taught not only English literature, but Russian, German and French literature as well. He is also a very fine musician and gifted raconteur.

So, bright and early Thursday morning, Virginia Jones ( my new photographer-in-residence, remember?) and I set out to pay Ted a visit at his home. He serenaded us with some old standards, a little Fritz Kreisler, and at Virginia's request, a lovely rendition of La Vie en Rose. I even accompanied him in a performance of a Corelli sonata.

Ted and his violin

If you happen to find yourself in Birmingham on a Friday night, you can catch Ted performing at Nabeel's, a neighborhood restaurant known for its great Mediterranean cuisine.

As our visit came to a close, Ted smiled, and said, "I have a present for you." Imagine my surprise when he handed me an old impossible to find Melodiya recording of Vladimir Ashkenazy playing all the Chopin etudes and Liszt's Mephisto Waltz. Ashkenazy made this recording when he was 17 years old. He plays the etudes in a masterful way, and his performance of the Mephisto Waltz will send chills up your spine. He plays the leaps at the end faster than anyone alive. I always thought he must go to sleep every night with a smile on his face, thinking, "I'm the only one in the world who can do that." I have been looking for this recording for 30 years, and was absolutely bowled over by Ted's thoughtful gift.

Ted dedicated the following poem to me, saying that it was my music that inspired it. I was flattered by his kind and beautiful words.

( for Michael Dulin)

In the afternoon of evening

before morning came

I knew where I was going

down a certain lane,

and then it was morning

and the way I had come

reminded me of singing

I had heard in the evening,

a voice so pure and lovely

carrying itself along

I didn't want it to end

or a single note be wrong.

This singing sang to me

as if it did belong

to everything we know

in all the world's song.
Ted Haddin

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Welcome to my News Page. This is where you will find up to the minute information about recording projects, new releases, upcoming performances and more. You will want to visit every week because each FridayI will be offering a new original song for you to! In addition, from time to time I will be sharing studio happenings, what I am listening to, favorite books, and glimpses into my personal life. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions on what you would like to know about me and my music.


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