Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

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 […]

Exploring the shelves, 3: Albeniz ‘Suite Española’

Posted by Susan Tomes on 28 March 2020 under Inspirations, Musings  •  4 Comments

I asked my husband if he knew Albeniz’s Suite Española. ‘Some of it’, he said. Well, exactly. Some of the pieces in this Suite are popular – in versions for guitar or orchestra as well as the piano originals – but some are much less well known, as I realised when I sat down with […]

Exploring the shelves, no 2: early Schubert sonatas

Posted by Susan Tomes on 25 March 2020 under Musings  •  6 Comments

This is the second in my series about exploring some of the piano music I have neglected on my shelves. Today’s discovery is Schubert – in particular, the realisation that he wasn’t always the effortless master he became! I sat down to play through his early piano sonatas, which are not often part of recital […]