Sailing the Oceans with Boccherini

The seashore in Brittany inspired this post. © Charles Thibo
The seashore in Brittany inspired this post. © Charles Thibo

Do you remember the movie “Master and Commander”? HMS Surprise, commanded by Captain Jack Aubrey (Russell Crowe), is chasing the French warship “Acheron” around Cape Horn. Being fascinated by sailing ships, I can watch that movie over and over again. When seeing it for the first time, it was a pleasant surprise to see Captain Aubrey and his friend, the biologist Stephen Maturin (Paul Bettany) acting as the ship’s doctor, play the violin and the cello on board while they try to catch up with the French frigate!
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Midsummer Dreamt by William and Felix

Into the enchanted forest, kingdom of the fairies. © Charles Thibo
Into the enchanted forest, kingdom of the fairies. © Charles Thibo

Midsummer – time to dream… Let’s embark on a journey through the world of fairies with the brilliant composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, whose sister Fanny we have already met, and the 16th century writer William Shakespeare. Don’t worry, you may, but will not have to have read Shakespeare’s piece “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, even though it is a witty and funny one and certainly worth reading. Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy has composed an overture (Op. 21) and a larger piece of 11 movements (Op. 61), both inspired by Shakespeare’s theater piece, that hopefully will enchant you. The British actress Judi Dench, our guest star today, will act as our guide through Shakespeare’s lovely verses to keep you on track.

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About Music, Books and Booksellers

Some of the many... © Charles Thibo
Some of the many… © Charles Thibo

My blog now features a new section with the bibliographical data of the books where I get my wisdom from. Marketing people call this approach “service orientated”.

I pick books and read them not only for my pleasure, but also for you. It makes my bookseller happy and it makes me happy. But of course there are more booksellers in the world that deserve being made happy. So get out and buy the books! Forget about eBooks. Smell the paper, touch its structure, admire the beauty of printed fonts. Retire into the garden, on your couch or in a quiet corner in your office building and lose yourself in the realm of the written word. It is good for your health. Watch the books getting older with you. Share them with good friends, whatever your bookseller tells you.

Reading my blog is one thing. It may give you an idea on what to listen to and what to read. Enjoying music and books is another thing. It’s the real thing. The experience, social media cannot provide. You’re on your own now.

Composing Incognito – Fanny Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn wouldn't let his sister perform in public. © Charles Thibo
Felix Mendelssohn wouldn’t let his sister perform in public. © Charles Thibo

“Fanny, as I know her, neither has the wish nor the vocation to be known as the composer [of her works]. She is a good woman busy with housekeeping and doesn’t think about the audience or the world of music or music as such, unless she is done with that first job.” The author of these lines was no lesser genius than the German composer Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. In a letter he wrote in 1835 to his mother, he adamantly refused to support his sister pursuing a professional career as a pianist and a composer.

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