King Gradlon’s cathedral at the bottom of the sea

Baie de Quibéron. © Charles Thibo

Perhaps you remember my fantasy of seeing Atlantis at the bottom of the Atlantic, that I described in my post about Sibelius’s work “Oceanides”? I once tried diving – and it was exhilarating! Too bad live so far from the sea. Floating over a town at the seabed, swimming between the ruins of mansions, churches, a theatre… a recurrent dream of mine. Over a year ago, a piece of the French composer Claude Debussy woke up that fantasy: “La Cathédrale Engloutie” (The Sunken Cathedral), number 10 of the first book of Debussy’s “Préludes”.

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Memories of Bach in a modern, dissonant setting

Ysaÿe was influenced by Bach and Debussy. © Charles Thibo
Ysaÿe was influenced by Bach and Debussy. © Charles Thibo

Avant-garde. Ahead of his time. Anticipating Ligeti’s sound shapes and clouds. His compositions are extra-ordinary just like his name and his origin. Eugène Ysaÿe. Belgium. Born in 1858, he became one of the best known violinists of his time. And he composed six violin sonatas that keep intriguing me. Food for the soul? May be. Food for thought? Certainly.

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Capturing instant impressions in melodies

A magic moment of fall... © Charles Thibo
A magic moment of fall… © Charles Thibo

Gold. Outside my window I see gold. The leaves in the wineyards, the setting sun, the trees in my garden – everything is bathing in a warm, golden light. Beautiful. Poetic. Aesthetic masterpieces created by Mother Nature. And then there are masterpieces created by Man. Like the “Suite Bergamasque” written by Claude Debussy. This piece mirrors the beauty outside my window. Continue reading!

Painting the sea with colour and music

The sea - a favourite subject of painters and composers alike. © Charles Thibo
The sea – a favourite subject of painters and composers alike. © Charles Thibo

If Pyotr Tchaikovsky is my all time favourite composer, Claude Monet is my all time favourite painter. He and others of his time from the school of the “Impressionists”, who tried to render in their paintings the immediate and ephemerous effects of light: shadows, reflections by the sun, flickering of waves, distortion by fog etc. While other painters had a political or religious message or tried to express an artistic ideal (romanticism for example), Monet and his friends painted nature as they saw it and when they saw it, that is, outdoor and on the spot, a recurrent subject being the sea.

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