A woman’s challenge: Finding a unique voice

Light. © Charles Thibo

A welcoming sound. A welcoming house. Back home where I belong to. The cello’s warm voice invites me in while the strings evoke the tense moments of the past. Does this piece mirror Marie Jaëll’s state of mind while she wrote her Cello Concerto in F major? In 1882, the year she wrote this piece, her husband had died. Does the composer try to find consolation in music? She did. She often sat in the wooden shed her father had built for her when she was young, absorbed by her music, and anyone knocking on the door would have to expect the reply: “Marie is not here, she’s in the realm of music.” An exceptional woman living an exceptional life.

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A cosmic meditation about humanity

22 000 light-years away – the cluster NGC 4833. Courtesy of NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

When I was a child I wanted to become an astronaut. A dream. Occasionally I think of that dream. I love science-fiction movies. I often look at the stars on a sky-clear night. My daughter and I share a secret passion for astronomy. And I sometimes imagine myself alone in a space station, zero gravity, zero sound. Looking at Mother Earth, meditating.

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Opening the door to a new aesthetic concept

Strong winds blowing… © Charles Thibo

Harmony, gentleness – the piano. Tension, agitation – the violin. In 1868 Alexis de Castillon has written his Sonata for Violin and Piano in C major (Op. 6), fascinating and disturbing at the same time. The first movement attempts to join two disparate moods by force, for the music is very forceful, at least at the beginning. Half way through the movement the mood changes, a certain melancholy, expressed by the violin, sets in, the piano voice moves to the background and adds a dramatic touch. Continue reading!

Light-heartedness bordering Mozartian frivolity

Rosetti oboe concerto
Rosa, rosae, rosae… © Charles Thibo

He was a contemporary of Mozart and Haydn, but he developed his own style. You can hear some of Mozart’s sweet- and lightness and his thematic ideas are developed in way similiar to Haydn’s, especially in the symphonies. He did not become as famous as the two masters of the Vienna classic era even though he was a prolific composer. So who is he? Antonio Rosetti is his name; he was born as Anton Rösler in Litomerice in Bohemia around 1750 and opted later for the Italian form of his name, most likely for marketing reasons. As for his biography, the scholars have now dressed a precise register of what they don’t know, for what they know about him with certainty – it is not much.

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