“Don’t Touch Anything You Have Written!”

Harmony. © Charles Thibo

Today the finale of the project: Maurice Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major. Around lunchtime I drive home. I have time. I take time to watch the fields I drive by once I have left the city. Fertile land. Less herbicides than in the past. Every year I have the impression the plots with wildflowers become more numerous. I like that. I love to see the golden grain, the red poppies, the blue cornflowers and the white chamomile. Harmony, serenity, beauty – it’s all there. And it’s in Ravel’s music.

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Looking at the World with a Child’s Eyes

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A new day. © Charles Thibo

Gabriel Fauré’s String Quartet in E Minor (op. 121) will forever be associated in my mind with the morning after I had heard Debussy’s quartet. Debussy’s piece had had a deep and lasting impact upon me the day before. I rose in the morning to drive to work, and while I drove by that field in the picture I immersed myself in the first movement of Fauré’s piece. The field, the sun, the sky, the music…

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Interlude: Mozart’s father and the dopamine issue

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This is what the formula of dopamine looks like in the chemistry book. It’s commonly called “the happiness hormone”. It is produced by the brain and transmits a signal between two nerve cells. Not any signal, no, it plays a major role in reward-motivated behavior. The anticipation of most types of rewards increases the level of dopamine in the brain.

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A summer dream and a return into my past

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Golden glow. © Charles Thibo

Today, I will try something new: Over a week I will present three works from three different composers, recorded by one single ensemble and compiled on one single album. Three quartets, magnificently performed by the French Quatuor Ebène. The idea to group these posts sprang from the parallels between the pieces and the parallels between the pictures I matched to the posts. I discovered this album a year ago and immediately fell in love with all three quartets.

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