The virtues of triviality amid chaos and violence

Glow. © Charles Thibo

Dreaming… Do you occasionally m ake time to dream? To close your ideas, to let your thoughts wander, your mind drift, to forget about the world around you? I think this is important. It doesn’t have to be long, the conscious effort to this – that is what counts. Sometimes I just stop wherever I am, I look at the blue sky, the sun and an intense pleasure starts to glow from inside. 10, 20 seconds, a minute or two, whatever, that short moment is enough to fill me with happiness for a whole afternoon.

Continue reading!

Withstanding the test of time

On the road to modernity. © Charles Thibo

His critics were quick to put a label on his music: academic, formal. “Like all St. Petersburg composers”, some would say. His critics were also quick to point out that he did not follow a coherent stylistic line, that he failed to give his compositions a distinct signature. Eclecticism – another label. Finally, the fact that he sympathized with the ideas of the “Mighty Five”* discredited him per se in the eyes of his detractors.

Continue reading!

An anchor of stability in revolutionary times

Peace and tranquility. © Charles Thibo

There shall be no surprises. This piece, a piano concerto, is a tribute to solid Russian tradition, music following the path of Pyotr Tchaikovsky and Sergey Taneyev. Peace and tranquility set the tone. It is firmly rooted and has no use for extravaganzas or harmonic experiments. The underlying idea of composition provided orientation to music students at a time when Russia struggled with revolutionary upheaval. And the teaching of the piece’s composer at the St. Petersburg Conservatory prepared the audience’s minds and ears for the works of Dmitry Shostakovich and Sergey Prokofiev.

Continue reading!

A jazzy classical piece for the saxophone

A saxophone concerto from Russia with love. © Charles Thibo
A saxophone concerto from Russia with love. © Charles Thibo

Do you know, who invented the saxophone?  Mr. Sax, obviously! Albert Sax, a Belgian wind instrument maker, developed this instrument around 1840. He was a clarinetist and started to work at his father’s clarinet making workshop in Brussels before he set up his own workshop in Paris with the help of the French composer Hector Berlioz… and became the primary supplier to French army bands! Continue reading A jazzy classical piece for the saxophone