A whisper murmured into the wind

A fragile peace. © Charles Thibo

The wind, the wind, the heaven-born wind – you probably recognize that. It’s Hänsel and Gretel’s answer to the witch’s question: “Nibble, nibble, gnaw, who’s nibbling at my little house?” This string quartet is like the wind, or rather it is a whisper murmured into the wind, not meant to stay, meant to be blown away. Is it a lamentation? A silent prayer? A half-audible thought? A drawn-out sob about a sad reminiscence?

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Turmoil echoed by Saygun’s string quartet

No darkness without light. © Charles Thibo

Haunting melodies – perhaps this describes the essence of Ahmed Adnan Saygun’s String Quartet No. 2, Op. 35. Franz Schubert catapulted into the second half of the 20th century. 1958: Europe  caught up in the Cold War, France struggling with decolonization, a Fascist regime in Spain and a young Muslim nation guarding NATO’s southern flank – Turkey. A world in turmoil. 1958: Riots between Turks and Greeks shake the Anatolian peninsula, the economy is in deep trouble, a military coup is in the air. Turkey in turmoil.

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A life between tragedy and hope

Light against darkness. © Charles Thibo

A dramatic opening, full of apprehension – something terrible is going to happen. But what? A murder? Yes. It’s Good Friday. Today, Christians all over the world mourn the death of Jesus Christ at the cross. Today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow Christians all over the world renew their hope that Jesus’ sacrifice was not in vain, but quite to the contrary, that it was meant to inspire his followers, to give them the courage and strength to believe in a life after death.

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An impromptu on hope and happiness

Clarity. © Charles Thibo

Did you like yesterday’s post? Did you enjoy Telemann’s music? I hope so. This is an impromptu, an unscheduled post, that I wrote just because I felt I must. It could not wait. I could not wait. And I will be brief.

In 1915 the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok wrote a highly popular set of Six Romanian Folk Dances (BB 68). World War I had been going on for a year already, and Bartok, unfit for military duty, served his country by collecting and re-arranging folk music. If Telemann’s violin fantasies are a Baroque path to happiness, Bartok’s set of piano pieces is a modern path to happiness.

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