Moving to the pulse of Moscheles’ piano concerto

Out, out into the fresh air! © Charles Thibo

The first time I came across the name of Ignaz Moscheles was in the context of the “Sonntagsmusiken”, organized by Fanny Mendelssohn at the Mendelssohns’ mansion in Berlin. Moscheles, one of the greatest piano virtuosos of his time and a first-rate music teacher, was a regular guest at the Mendelssohns’ and both Fanny and Felix visited him while he stayed on London. His friendship with Fanny’s brother Felix led to his appointment as principal professor of piano at the newly founded Leipzig Conservatory in 1846. He had taught the 15 year old Felix in the 20s in Berlin, Edvard Grieg was one of his students many years later in Leipzig.

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Making time for an impressionist pulsation

Port d’attache. © Charles Thibo

Written on the fly, a momentous impression during a short stay at the Atlantic coast. Rain, wind, happiness, a little nocturnal melancholy a few days ago. This unscheduled post does not follow my ordinary logic, my careful planning, my meticulous research, no, it obeys its own laws if any and the outcome is unclear. For a few minutes I felt the urge to write in verses. From a long slumber the poet woke, without pain, bewilderd and exhilarated by the idea to play again with words. I fell asleep again, but I had to think about that moment for the rest of the day.

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Challenging Mozart and men’s dominance in music

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Did you say feminine? © Charles Thibo

Wolfgang must be mad at me. He always was and always will be a jealous guy. I had scheduled for this spring two posts on Mozart’s music and now I have replaced them with texts on Fanny Mendelssohn and Clara Wieck. But let Mozart be mad, women will feature more prominently on this blog. So many were or are either excellent composers or performing artists or both and have a right to be heard and praised. Mozart is immortal, he has no reason to complain.

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A cantata to celebrate the end of a deadly pandemic

Hoping for salvation. © Charles Thibo

One of my favourite movies is the French production ” Un husard sur le toit” starring Juliette Binoche, my favourite actress. At the center of the plot is a young French lady and an Italian revolutionary fleeing the outbreak of the plague in southern France. A love story amidst human misery and suffering – very romantic, very much my taste. It also compels me to acknowledge how fortunate I am not to have to fear any deadly epidemics in Europe with the exception of HIV. Only a century ago, in 1918, Europe was fighting the outbreak of a particularly tough type of flu and between 1826 and 1837 the great cholera pandemic the killed almost killed the composer Felix Mendelssohn.

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