Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

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 […]

Identity

Posted by Susan Tomes on 18 May 2020 under Daily Life, Musings  •  9 Comments

It’s been eight weeks in lockdown now. (Photo: Edinburgh Castle with no visitors.) On the whole, I have been coping fine. Long experience of working at home had prepared me for #stayhome. However, it turns out that my peace of mind during solitary periods of preparation was dependent on having complementary times when I knew […]

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, 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 […]