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At the core of Beethoven’s “Diabelli” Variations, an esoteric and astonishing piano piece lasting some 50 minutes, is one of the intriguing mysteries of music history. Why did Beethoven, during the difficult last decade of his life, when he was deaf, chronically ill and often in financial straits, become nearly obsessed with writing an extensive […]
The illiterate of the future
“The illiterate of the future are not those that cannot read or write. They are those that can not learn, unlearn, relearn.” -Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist Cited at QuotationsBook
Debussy’s recreational activities
Often at the end of the day Gaby [Debussy’s lover] would discover that they had a little money left over and then they would go out to a café, or circus, or to watch a billiards match. Debussy was very fond of the game. At the circus he loved the clowns and was as excited […]
Silence, slowness, clarity, reinvigorate
“No matter if you’re an artist, a desk jockey, or anything in between – give yourself permission to include regular (dare I say daily?) reinvigoration in your work ethic. Silence. Slowness. Clarity. The machine doesn’t work so well without them.” Kim Pensinger, from Living and Singing on Interest in the WTO Blog
Do everything promptly
“During a very busy life I have often been asked, How did you manage to do it all? The answer is very simple. It is because I did everything promptly.  Procastination … is fatal.” Richard Tangye (1833-1903), British manufacter of engines and other heavy equipment. Thomas Sharper Knowlson, The Art of Success, London: F. Warne […]
Mozart: the myth versus the man
We often focus too much on the myth of Mozart, the myth of the prodigy and the myth of the genius – but as he writes in some of his letters, he often feels totally misunderstood and that people don’t give him credit for all the tireless work which he does. In one letter he […]
How not to get an audience
Satie’s ballet Relâche (1924) had trouble pulling a crowd: the title translates as “this performances is cancelled”. Source: Lawrence, Christopher (2001) Swooning.  Sydney: Random House, p.70.
The ideal and the played performance
Some conductors put all the emphasis on the melodic line, while others are fanatics about rhythm, but there are very few conductors who are uniquely able to look at the score and hear every part before it actually happens. With the very best of conductors, it’s as though there are two performances going on simultaneously. […]
Abstraction VIII
Title: Abstraction VIII Composer: Greg Smith Instrumentation: Piano Product medium: PDF score SAMPLE:
Ode II
Title: Ode II Composer: Greg Smith Performer: Greg Smith Instrumentation: Piano Product medium: MP3 recording     Related products:     – Ode II (PDF score) SAMPLE: