March 9. 2015
I packed up two boxes of books today. Two boxes of sheet music, scores, oratorios, songs – they are going out of here and into the hands of someone who will use them. This is tremendously satisfying.
I thought it would be more wrenching to take apart my music this way – but in fact, it’s been great! I can let go of all the things I can’t use and keep the pieces that mean something to me. I’ll keep the Barber songs and the anthologies I used as a very young singer. I’ll keep Strauss because I just adore Strauss, but the Poulenc I wanted to like more than I did – it goes. And all the Verismo songs I wanted to be able to use and never did. I suppose I was more of a Poulenc singer than a Verismo singer – it’s funny the things you want to be when you should just be glad to be what you are.
I am a lyric, not a spinto.
There is one song that I found that the great soprano Leontine Price gave me a long time ago. That stays. And the Strauss song that was played at my friend’s funeral after he died of AIDS. That stays too. I’m keeping the Lorca songs, and letting Pizzetti go – like choosing oranges over bananas.
I may, in the end, give more of my pieces away, but for the moment, I have made space. Space is amazing.