Dramatic depth shrouded in a golden veil of melancholy

Peace study. © Charles Thibo

A dream. A promise. A hope. Everything is possible. At the beginning of the new year I want to be optimistic. I want you to be optimistic too. Yes, we have all had our share of bad news and personal disappointments last year, but… there are many well-meaning people out there. Like-minded people, people caring for their family, their neighbourhood, the environment and a peaceful coexistence. They may not be very visible, but they are there. Nobody fighting for a better world fights on his own. We are many, from all walks of life, with different approaches but with one aim: making this place a better one.

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Time to say good-bye with Chopin

Sunset over the Atlantic. © Charles Thibo
Sunset over the Atlantic. © Charles Thibo

What did I say about Frédéric Chopin’s “Nocturnes” at the beginning of the year? You cannot listen to this music by daylight. It doesn’t work. The music doesn’t transmit its inherent magic at daylight. This also holds true for his “Ballades”. Here I sit, it is past 11 pm, the house is asleep and I am reading up on Chopin, his life, his works. As far back as I can can go in memory, I usually listen to Chopin’s music at night. Strange, isn’t it?

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A floating melody of sadness

Chopin's piano music is as delicate as Mozart's piano pieces and yet very different. © Charles Thibo
Chopin’s piano music is as delicate as Mozart’s piano pieces and yet very different. © Charles Thibo

1983 was my second year in highschool. Pop music started to invade my ears, and every week, I would watch – like my class mates – a popular German pop music show on TV. And pop music brought me to Chopin. In 1983, the Italian pop star Gazebo (Paul Mazzolini) released a song with the title “I like Chopin” that stayed at position nb. 1 in the charts in Germany, Switzerland and Austria for weeks. I loved that tune, but one day my father teased me by asking: “Any idea who or what Copin is?” Ooops.

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Dissolving into Chopin’s Nocturnes

Full moon is always spectacular when the sky is clear and its light is reflected by the river or the snow. © Charles Thibo
Full moon. © Charles Thibo

I imagine myself wandering over a frozen plain in a winter night, the stars twinkling above me, the moon light being reflected by the snow. Everything around me bathes in a blueish light and the leafless trees cast long, sharp shadows on the ground. And I hear Chopin’s “Nocturnes” (Night pieces). I am warmly dressed, wide awake, I breathe the cold air and I feel like walking, briskly, without a specific goal. I just want to walk and enjoy this mesmerizing music.

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