Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s ‘Childhood Memories’

Posted by Susan Tomes on 16 August 2018 under Books, Musings  •  Leave a comment

I’ve been reading the ‘Childhood Memories’ (published 1958) of Giuseppe Tomasi de Lampedusa, the Sicilian aristocrat and author of ‘The Leopard‘, an award-winning Italian novel published posthumously and later made into a film starring Burt Lancaster. Lampedusa’s memoirs concern life in his family’s Sicilian home – or homes – at the start of the 20th […]

Tackling Chopin’s F major Nocturne

Posted by Susan Tomes on 8 August 2018 under Daily Life, Musings, Teaching  •  2 Comments

One of my summer projects has been to learn all the Chopin Nocturnes. Strangely enough I have never tackled them properly, and some of them, it turns out, I hardly knew even by ear. Getting to know them has given me tremendous respect for Chopin’s compositional skills as well as his genius for piano writing. […]

Talking about memory on BBC Front Row

Posted by Susan Tomes on 3 August 2018 under Concerts, Musings  •  1 Comment

Last night I was on the BBC Radio 4 arts programme Front Row, taking part in a discussion about playing from memory. Presenter Stig Abell spoke to me and Torun Saeter Stavseng, principal cellist of the Aurora Orchestra, who are about to perform Shostakovich’s 9th Symphony from memory at The Proms. Listen to the Front […]

Old friends at the Cerne Abbas Music Festival

Posted by Susan Tomes on 31 July 2018 under Concerts, Musings, Travel  •  Leave a comment

I’m just back from a week at the Gaudier Ensemble’s annual Cerne Abbas Music Festival in Dorset – my 25th year at the festival, I think. Some of the core players have been doing it for 28 years! But there are always new players and guest players, and this year we had the fabulous wind […]

How would Robert Schumann design his own record cover?

Posted by Susan Tomes on 5 June 2018 under Daily Life, Musings  •  Leave a comment

I have been practising a lot of Schumann’s music lately in preparation for various music festivals over the summer. It’s always a pleasure to play Schumann and when you play a lot of different compositions, you get really into his way of thinking. His mindset feels unstable, or shall I say ‘stably unstable’. His moods […]

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