Standing in awe before the Waldstein-Sonata

Monumental. © Charles Thibo

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 21 in C major (Op. 53) is one of those ambitions of mine. Some day in the future, I will be able to play this overwhelming piece. Overwhelming because it overwhelms me each time I listen to it. Overwhelming because it commands respect to the apprentice I still am. This love affair started with a recording by Alice Sara Ott. I moved on to the release of Emil Gilels’ performance and ended up with Alfred Brendel’s recording, apparently the gold standard when it cones to Beethoven interpretation.

Continue reading!

In the data maze or a hype of Beethovian scale

Beethoven Fifth final
No notes, no music. © Charles Thibo

Tadadadaaa – the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is effective as of now! Can you feel it? Does it make a difference? No, it doesn’t. It reminds me of the question: “So how does it feel to turn 40?” Well, the world did not stop turning back then, did it? And it didn’t tonight. All this excitement in the blogosphere over the past weeks – I wonder whether we are not taking all this a little too serious.

Continue reading!

A quartet inspired by an unfulfilled teenager love

Mendelssohn summer
Summer! © Charles Thibo

The summer hasn’t begun yet, and already I feel nostalgic like I would at the end of it. But that is entirely Felix Mendelssohn’s fault. So many of his pieces evoke in my mind the end of summer – is that the Romantic disease? Probably. His violin concerto in E minor is a case in point, however today Felix’ chamber music is on my mind: the String Quartet No. 1 in E flat major, Op. 12. It is a very early piece, written in 1829, when Mendelssohn was 20 years old. It has to do with a girl that he hallen fallen in love with, a passion alas that wasn’t reciprocated.

Continue reading!

A book and a symphony – two extremes remembered

beethoven-pastorale
A pastoral scene from the Vatican’s museums. © Charles Thibo

“What a stupid book”, I said to myself. A trivial story about a romance between a priest, his son and a blind orphan. I hated André Gide’s novel “La Symphony Pastorale”! I had to study it a school and the moral questions the novel evokes on the base of Georg Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel’s philosophy totally escaped me. I was interested in astrophysics and spaceflight, not in moral dilemmas.

Continue reading!