Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Exploring the shelves, 10: Felix Arndt’s ‘Nola’ of 1915

Posted by Susan Tomes on 5 May 2020 under Daily Life, Inspirations, Musings  •  2 Comments

A sad one today! In the course of reading about the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, I came across the fact that American composer Felix Arndt had died at the age of only 29 during the second wave of the pandemic in New York.  I couldn’t help being struck by this, because of course New […]

Digesting what you’ve practised

Posted by Susan Tomes on 30 April 2020 under Musings, Teaching  •  4 Comments

I mentioned last weekend that I’ve been trying to learn Chopin’s fourth ballade, a wonderful piece of music although not easy to master. After some days of quite intensive effort, I felt like having a rest from it. Some parts of it are very difficult, and day by day they didn’t seem to be getting […]

What does the future for concerts look like …?

Posted by Susan Tomes on 21 April 2020 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  6 Comments

A music-loving friend and I were discussing the prospect of concerts resuming after lockdown. It might be months away, but most musicians are eagerly, indeed desperately looking forward to this point. ‘Trouble is’, said my friend, ‘I might not feel all that confident about going back into a concert hall after this.’ I asked why. […]

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 […]