Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

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 […]

Exploring the shelves, 5: Edward MacDowell’s ‘Woodland Sketches’

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

Over the years I’ve acquired various bits of piano music as gifts when friends were throwing away stuff they never played. That’s how I came to have Edward MacDowell’s Woodland Sketches. Most people know the first number, ‘To a Wild Rose’, but the rest of the set is obscure, at least here in the UK. […]

Exploring the Shelves, 4: Chopin’s ‘Minute’ Waltz

Posted by Susan Tomes on 31 March 2020 under Musings  •  3 Comments

If you google the ‘Minute’ Waltz, you’ll find that it is a ‘song by Arthur Rubinstein’, which would have come as a surprise to Frédéric Chopin. In the UK the waltz (in D flat, opus 64 no 1) is famous because it’s the signature tune of the long-running BBC radio show ‘Just a Minute’, a […]