Shostakovich’s insane dance on Stalin’s grave

Spooky times. © Charles Thibo

Have a look at the picture – what do you see? Not much, I agree. It is dark, an eery light hovers over the horizon. A few lights, one on the top of a distant tall building. It’s a lighthouse. On an island. Shadowy figures walking briskly down a paved road. What are they up to? Would you feel comfortable walking behind these people? Now imagine this scenery with howling winds, battering rain and the uncertainty of being in time for the last ferry. Finally the soundtrack: the first movement of Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 107. Now you have reasons to shiver and to feel tight.

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Penetrating the melody of a desperate love

Inspiration hour © Charles Thibo

Midnight. This specific time, this specific mood. The house is calm, everyone has gone to bed except the cat and me. A specific constellation. It is one of the moments that inspiration strikes me. I started to read a biography about the German pianist Grete Sultan (1906-2005) tonight while I was listening to Robert Schumann’s Fantasy in C major, Op. 17, performed by Grete Sultan. The urgent need to penetrate the music, to dream and drift, to write. Now.

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