Archive for the ‘Inspirations’ Category

Exploring the Shelves, 18: Antonio Soler’s Fandango

Posted by Susan Tomes on 26 June 2020 under Inspirations, Musings  •  3 Comments

Here’s a curious piece from the late Baroque, composed by an 18th century Spanish priest who was a contemporary of Scarlatti. Padre Antonio Soler began studying music at his local monastery when he was only six, and by 14 had his first appointment as a cathedral organist. He was a prolific composer of keyboard music, […]

Exploring the Shelves, 17: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s ‘Petite Suite de Concert’

Posted by Susan Tomes on 21 June 2020 under Inspirations, Musings  •  Leave a comment

Recently, at a Zoom meeting of my piano club, one of our members played Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Petite Suite de Concert. It was new to most of us, but we were all struck by its charm. I remember being puzzled when I first heard of a composer called Samuel Coleridge Taylor. Wasn’t that the name of […]

Exploring the Shelves, 16: Poulenc’s Novelettes

Posted by Susan Tomes on 13 June 2020 under Inspirations  •  Leave a comment

Francis Poulenc is one of those composers whose personality shows very clearly in his music. Some composers, you sense, enjoy the process of creating a pure compositional line swept clean of their personal feelings. We may know from reading their biographies that they were complicated people, but you wouldn’t know it from their music. Was […]

Exploring the Shelves, #14: Mendelssohn finds his voice

Posted by Susan Tomes on 28 May 2020 under Inspirations, Musings  •  Leave a comment

Volume One of Mendelssohn’s complete solo piano music is on my music desk.  Mendelssohn was an astonishingly precocious chap and wrote some of his finest music – the Octet for Strings, for example – when still a teenager. He was first and foremost a pianist, so it’s intriguing that his earliest masterpiece was not for […]

Exploring the Shelves, 13: Schumann’s obsessions

Posted by Susan Tomes on 22 May 2020 under Inspirations  •  3 Comments

I have tons of piano music by Schumann and in lockdown I’ve been working through the volumes. Now, I’ve always been a huge fan of Schumann, but I have to admit that when you spend a day going through some of his, shall we say, less focused piano music you become very aware of his […]