The Quest for Harmony – Now and Then

Equilibrium restored. © Charles Thibo

A peaceful morning after a stormy night. A thunderstorm has battered the countryside during the night, torrential rain and gusts replaced the almost unbearable heat. Equilibrium has been restored. But it is unstable and easily disturbed. In the papers I read more and more often about droughts – in Western Europe. Farmers are suffering considerable losses, drinking water is becoming scarce. Our planet is a fragile thing and our climate is even more fragile. Will humanity be able to preserve this delicate equilibrium?

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Conquering the Realm of Instrumental Music

Schubert Sym2_0000_edited-1
Space. © Charles Thibo

Endless progress. Perpetual Extension. A certain idea of the vastness of space, to be filled with music. Solemn, grandiose music. Those keywords kept coming back while I read Wolfram Steinbeck’s study on Franz Schubert’s symphonies and more specifically about Schubert’s Symphony No. 2 in B flat, D. 125. Schubert wrote this early symphony between December 1814 and March 1815. The short time span shows Schubert’s determination to master a form considered to be the purest art form in Romanticism. The writer E. T. A. Hoffmann who so strongly inspired Robert Schumann, wrote: “[This kind of music] is the key to a realm unknown to humans; a world that has nothing in common with the exterior world that we perceive with our senses […] where all feelings, that could be described by words, are left behind and fade into the indescribable.”

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A Little Masterpiece for the Family Trio

Summer. © Charles Thibo

It is summer and it is hot. 32 degrees in the shadow and I feel lazy, so lazy. The cello feels a little lazy too. Too hot! The violin, energetic as ever, is of a different opinion: “Come on, you lazy idiot! Get up let’s have some fun.” As for the viola, it hardly has an opinion ever and goes along with the majority. It is too hot! Too hot to have an opinion, too hot even to write this post. It is not too hot however to listen to the Lendvai String Trio performing Julius Röntgen’s String Trio No. 10 in F Minor. It’s such a delightful piece.

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Serene Anxiety upon an Inspiration by Bach

I would like to hope that this summer will be a summer of peace, despite the drum beats in different parts of the world. I wish this summer could be devoted to the contemplation of the beauty of nature and of mankind’s cultural achievements. I wish it could inspire policy makers to realize that in a globalized world, pitting one nation against the other is a zero-sum game, inviting to revenge, and will ultimately lead to a loose-loose situation. Global issues need to be addressed in a comprehensive way and in a spirit of cooperation. There is no planet B. For nobody.

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