Archive for the ‘Inspirations’ Category

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 […]

Exploring the shelves, 12: Dvorak’s Humoresques

Posted by Susan Tomes on 16 May 2020 under Inspirations, Musings  •  5 Comments

Another find in a secondhand book sale was a volume of Dvorak Humoresques. Who knew there were eight of them for piano? I confess I only really knew the Humoresque made famous by Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz and others in arrangements for violin and piano. Kreisler’s luscious ‘slides’ from one note to another ring in […]

Exploring the Shelves, 11: Haydn’s little jazz riffs

Posted by Susan Tomes on 12 May 2020 under Inspirations  •  1 Comment

I do have some volumes of Haydn piano sonatas, but I confess I didn’t realise until quite recently that they didn’t contain all his sonatas. In a charity book sale, I came across a slim volume of selected Haydn sonatas which contained a couple of early works I don’t think I’d ever seen or heard. […]