Not too far from Luxembourg city, a small natural reserve boast an astonishing variety of flowers. Insiders know were to look for certain types of orchids. As a child I was fascinated by the different colors of the clay soil: dark red, grey, violet. Erosion has made different color patterns visible and they change over the years. That spot is an island of peace, undisturbed, and I remember that when a residential area was built nearby I imagined blowing up the houses to preserve it in its integrity.
Praise. An interesting word. It is easier to blame than to praise. The society I happen to be a member of – I experience it as ego-centric, arrogant, cold-hearted. It leaves little room for praise. I try to praise whenever I see merit and whenever I can do it in an honest way. I praise my daughter when she has done well at school. I praise my team at work when we achieve what we intended to do. I praise God… well, that has come a little out of fashion in my world. Luxembourg is known for its high GDP and its many naturally born lamenters.
I woke up early. From my bed I saw that the sky was clear. The sun was about to rise above the horizon. I got up, tiptoed down the staircase and through the windows separating the living room from the veranda, I saw the colours of the sky veering from orange to grey to light blue. We still have those old-fashioned glass panes made opaque through entangled floral ornaments. I love that Art Déco glass, it matches my occasional melancholy. Yesterday morning it beautifully refracted the light from the rising sun. A magic moment.
Beethoven or Mendelssohn? The massive opening of this piano concerto, certain features I would typically associate with the Vienna master, could well have led me into error. But no. Felix Mendelssohn wrote this piece, the Piano Concerto in G major, Op. 25. It is one of his earlier works and yes, he had studied Beethoven well and some of his very early works actually do emulate Beethoven’s late style. And while the master’s influence must be acknowledged on the piece, the student’s later signature as writer of “Lieder” shines already through the first movement.