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?

Continue reading!

Listening to the Rain, Listening to Vivaldi

The next morning… © Charles Thibo

I remember that night in Rome. It had been hot, extremely hot for several days. The air stood still, and combined with the exhaust fumes of the cars, buses and motorcycles, the atmosphere was suffocating. I refrained from breathing as good as I could and only by 10 o’clock in the evening, I would start to feel at ease. But this night was different. When I returned to my hotel after work, I saw those towering clouds in the south-west. By the time I sat down for dinner at the Piazza delle Coppelle, the sky had turned black. By the time I got off the tram, the first gusts blew the dust the street. And I had to run. Fast. Just as I made it to the hotel, big raindrops started to fall evolving into a torrential rain that lasted several hours into the night. What a relief! I lay on my bed, breathing the fresh, cool air and I listened to Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto in B Minor, RV 390. How good it felt, how incredibly good.

Continue reading!

Flying Home with Vivaldi and Sol Gabetta

Close your eyes… ©Charles Thibo

I am flying a several thousand feet. I am returning home. A busy, one-day-trip. Mission accomplished. The last leg. I am returning home. Vivaldi. The Argentinian cellist Sol Gabetta and her ensemble struggle against the monotone noise of the two PW 150A turboprops. Serenity descents on me while I enjoy the Italian’s Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra, RV 423. I am flying home. The best feeling ever. My family is waiting for me. I am flying home.

Continue reading!

A Sonata for Goethe, Lotte and Werther

© Charles Thibo

What kind of music did Johann Wolfgang von Goethe listen to? I knew he was interested in music, since he wrote about music and poetry, but were there any composer he cherished? He was a friend of Carl Friedrich Zelter, the teacher of the Mendelssohns’, who has set to music several of Goethe’s poems, but apart from Zelter anyone else? A little research on the internet taught me that he was impressed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and had hoped Mozart would set his drama “Faust” to music. It did not happen. He was impressed by Johann Sebastian Bach’s cantatas and he liked a few German composer who barely achieved regional fame.

Continue reading!