Sketches for four hands and a piano

Gavrilin's cadences are quick as a carousel. © Charles Thibo
Gavrilin’s cadences are quick as a carousel. © Charles Thibo

Hey, someone is having fun here! Actually, two people are. Two pianists, Fanny Solter and Eva-Maria Rieckert, playing Gavrilin’s “Piano Sketches for Four Hands”. Listen to this – it’s halfway between romanticism and jazz! Made in Russia. Who would have thought that?

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Why Bach walked 280 miles to a Baroque jam session

Buxtehude composed vocal music and organ works. © Charles Thibo
Buxtehude composed vocal music and organ works. © Charles Thibo

Buxtehude – now, what kind of name is that? It sounds like the name of a witch out of a German fairy tale. But no, Dieterich Buxtehude was a Danish-German composer and organist of the 17th century.
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Bells speaking of joy, love, terror and death

Lento lugubre - Rachmaninov's 4th movement of "The Bells". © Charles Thibo
Lento lugubre – Rachmaninov’s 4th movement of “The Bells”. © Charles Thibo

Today, our journey takes us to Rome. The Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov stayed here at the Piazza de Spagna in 1913 for two months in the flat of Modest Tchaikovsky, where his brother Pyotr Tchaikovsky had composed several of his works. At the time, Rachmaninov was deeply worried about his personal future, suffering from frequent diseases, tiredness, a lack of inspiration and the fact that his home country was moving to the edge of civil war. He had left Russia hastily towards the end of 1912 and moved first to Switzerland, then to Italy. Continue reading!

Succumbing to an earworm in D major

Beethoven's violin concerto lifts me up to heaven. © Charles Thibo
Beethoven’s violin concerto lifts me up to heaven. © Charles Thibo

“Ohrwurm” [ˈoːɐ̯ˌvʊʁm] – that’s what the Germans call it. Earworm? Does that exist in English? Here is what I mean: a melody that you hear once and that you can’t get out of your head then. The German composer Ludwig van Beethoven wrote such an “Ohrwurm” – his violin concerto in D major, Op. 61. It’s the only violin concerto he wrote, and one wonders why, since this piece is absolutely amazing! It has a profound effect on me. Whenever I hear it, I feel wide awake, instantly energized, totally present. I also feel transported into another world, floating above life on earth, defying gravity. Unsurprisingly, it is one of my all time favourite violin concertos.

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