Archive for the ‘Inspirations’ Category

Exploring the Shelves, 9: Chopin’s 4th Ballade

Posted by Susan Tomes on 25 April 2020 under Inspirations  •  Leave a comment

I’m trying to learn some new pieces during this lockdown. My latest project is Chopin’s Fourth Ballade. I’ve half-known it for years, but never tried to learn it properly. It requires quite a big stretch, which I don’t have, and I’ve never been sure I could get my hands round some of the chords at […]

Exploring the Shelves, 8: Mozart’s piano sonatas

Posted by Susan Tomes on 18 April 2020 under Inspirations, Musings  •  3 Comments

Over the past week or two, as a lockdown project, I’ve been playing through all Mozart’s piano sonatas. There are eighteen of them, mostly in three movements. Mozart is my favourite composer. His piano writing is always of a high standard. After all, he was a famous keyboard player, and completely understood how to write […]

Exploring the shelves, 7: mysterious last movements

Posted by Susan Tomes on 15 April 2020 under Inspirations, Musings  •  1 Comment

It’s amazing how often the last movements of multi-movement works are a disappointment. Time and again, my chamber groups would bemoan the fact that the finale of whatever we were rehearsing wasn’t as inspired as the rest of the piece. I once observed that composers could have solved the problem by just not writing last […]

Richard Morrison’s Times article on musicians in lockdown

Posted by Susan Tomes on 9 April 2020 under Daily Life, Inspirations, Musings  •  1 Comment

A friend has sent me (in the post!) Richard Morrison’s excellent Times article from April 3: ‘Note to artists: it’s not a sign of weakness to be unable to work now.’  This is the link, but The Times is behind a paywall so you can only read it if you’re a subscriber. Richard Morrison says […]

Exploring the shelves, 6: Debussy’s First Arabesque

Posted by Susan Tomes on 6 April 2020 under Inspirations, Musings  •  3 Comments

Hardly an unknown piece, of course, but there are aspects of it we don’t often consider. For example, the pedalling! Debussy doesn’t mark any. What are we to make of that? Some composers carefully mark where they want the pedal to be used. Some don’t mark pedal at all. Many rely on the pianist to […]