Emerging from the Shadow of Beethoven

Brahms - balance and contrasts. © Charles Thibo
Brahms – balance and contrasts. © Charles Thibo

Balance. Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto in D Major, op. 77 is perfectly balanced. Solo parts and orchestral parts. Elegance and vigour. Joy and exasperation. Tranquility and loudness. Zen-like flows and fast paced accents. You know how excited I get each time I listen to Beethoven’s Violin Concerto (op. 61). It was written in D major too, but 72 years earlier (1806). Brahms’ only violin concerto brings me close to that state of mind. And I heard it yesterday at the Philharmonie de Luxembourg, performed by Leonidas Kavakos and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxembourg. It was fantastic!

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Tears Shed in a Dream of Blue Light

The blue sky - a place for dreams. © Charles Thibo
The blue sky – a place for dreams. © Charles Thibo

A warm spring day. A sky as blue as you can imagine it. Close your eyes. Can you feel that breeze, light as a feather? The sun  is bathing your face. Can you feel it? Clouds. Shadows. Dark, light, dark, light. The clouds are passing by. The first movement is called a “Barcarole”, and that term usually denotes a song sung by the Venetian gondoliers with an accompaniment suggesting the rocking of the gondola on the water. Lean back, drift away! Alpha and Theta waves are traveling trough your brain and make you dream like in a daydream.

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On the Road – Vincent Goes Lyrical

Claude Monet would have loved this. © Elisabeth Wohlgenannt
Claude Monet would have loved this. © Elisabeth Wohlgenannt

We have been traveling with Franz Liszt and Franz Schubert, and today I will take you on another journey. We shall meet the French composer Vincent d’Indy. He is less known than his colleagues Maurice Ravel and Claude Debussy, but his contribution to French classical music is noteworthy.

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Sailing with Sindbad the Seafarer

Sheherazade - source of many inspirations! © Anna Rettberg
Sheherazade – source of many inspirations! © Anna Rettberg

The sea – what a promise! Far away countries. Exotic spices. Incredible wealth. Danger, adventures, challenges. People wearing different attire and practicing a different religion, speaking languages we do not understand. The sea! What a temptation! I am on board of a dhow and I am sailing across the Persian Gulf, heading for the Street of Hormuz and the Indian Ocean. I am an adventurer traveling with Sindbad the Seafearer.

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