A Fiddling Tourist Guide in Rome

The pines of Rome at the Villa Borghese. © Charles Thibo
The pines of Rome at the Villa Borghese. © Charles Thibo

Rome. What a city! Rome in September on a free weekend. What an experience! A year ago: I am climbing the “Spanish Staircase” under a warm sunlight and walking to the Villa Medici and the park surrounding the Villa Borghese. Flowers everywhere and the pines smell delicately on this late Saturday afternoon. I leave the noise of the city behind me, girls sitting in the grass and chatting, a bike passing by, on a distant playground I hear children having fun… life is good! Continue reading!

Bach is God. Bach is Cool.

Join the trance with Johann Sebastian Bach. © Charles Thibo
Join the trance with Johann Sebastian Bach. © Charles Thibo

“There is no other God than Bach and Mendelssohn is his prophet!” exclaimed the French composer Hector Berlioz after Felix Mendelssohn had performed in 1841 in the German town of Leipzig the St. Matthew’s Passion, composed by Johann Sebastian Bach and first performed in that very same town in 1727. Felix Mendelssohn has done much to resuscitate Bach’s works. He established himself as a composer and conductor in 1829 when he had the St. Matthew’s Passion performed for the first time in Germany after almost 100 years. He was 20 years old then, and the concert was one of the top musical events in Berlin that year. But today’s post is not about Mendelssohn, it’s about Bach! Continue reading!

Triple-Whopper: Painter-Composer-Cartoonist

A rose for Alice Sara Ott, the pianist, the cartoonist. © Charles Thibo
A rose for Alice Sara Ott, the pianist, the cartoonist. © Charles Thibo

I really would like to live next door to Alice. That is, Alice Sara Ott, the German pianist. I would ask her to illustrate posts on this blog from time to time for she’s not only an accomplished musician, but also a gifted cartoonist! And yes, I do admire her! Two years ago, Alice Sara Ott made a wonderful recording of Modest Mussorgsky’s masterpiece “Pictures of an Exhibition”. The music inspired her to some funny drawings illustrating two of the different parts of Mussorgsky’s cycle: “The Great Gate of Kiev” and “The Ballet of the Unhatched Chicken”.
Continue reading!