Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Messiaen by candlelight

Posted by Susan Tomes on 27 July 2009 under Concerts, Musings  •  2 Comments

The final concerts of my season took place last week at the Cerne Abbas Music Festival in Dorset with the Gaudier Ensemble. During the festival we gave a late-night performance of Messiaen’s ‘Quartet for the End of Time’ in a candlelit church, with no other lights except for reading lights clipped to our music stands. […]

Clapping at the Proms

Posted by Susan Tomes on 15 July 2009 under Concerts, Daily Life, Musings  •  Leave a comment

Controversy in the press about whether Proms audiences should be discouraged from clapping so much. What’s under the spotlight is the Prommers’ habit of clapping in between movements, and the growing sport of racing each other to be the first to applaud vociferously when they recognise the closing chords of a piece. The classical music […]

Looking at Toscanini

Posted by Susan Tomes on 14 July 2009 under Daily Life, Musings  •  Leave a comment

I watched a fascinating TV drama-documentary about conductor Arturo Toscanini. During his lifetime he was famous for his expressive gestures when conducting. Orchestral musicians who played for him said that it was always perfectly clear what he wanted them to do. It was rather shocking therefore to see him on the archive film. His gestures, […]

Enjoying the beat

Posted by Susan Tomes on 1 July 2009 under Concerts, Musings  •  Leave a comment

I’ve started to prepare for the next festival I’m involved in, the annual chamber music festival of the Gaudier Ensemble. It takes place in the lovely old village of Cerne Abbas in Dorset in July. This year I have a few little piano solos and ten different chamber works to prepare, ranging from a Haydn […]

Getting up early for a flower

Posted by Susan Tomes on 28 June 2009 under Musings  •  Leave a comment

When I was a student, I had a friend whose mother was a keen gardener. She was a pianist too, so I felt she was a kindred spirit. In the holidays I sometimes went to stay with the family for a few days. One day my friend said to me, ‘You know, my mother actually […]