Inspiration

634 Posts
Lieder ohne Worte III
Composer’s Fancy and Player’s Delight
Because of its brevity and seeming simplicity, the “Lied ohne Worte” became a musical and technical test bed for a good many aspiring composers. In addition, it could deliberately, or as was the case with Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, inadvertently express
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Exotic Dancing with Jean Françaix
When Francis Poulenc described the musical scene in wartime Paris to musicologist André Schaeffner, he singled out two composers who took notice of modern trends. One was unsurprisingly Olivier Messiaen, who was forging ahead with a “synthetic modal techniques within
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Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)
“I’m Not in the Habit of Attracting Crowds”
A good many commentators consider Gabriel Fauré the “greatest master of French song.” He composed stylish and elegant melodies, etched with sleight-of hand urbanity. His music flows effortlessly, “magically combining Monet’s liquid cool with the warmth of a Pisarro landscape.”
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Lieder ohne Worte II
Composer’s Fancy and Player’s Delight
It is probably not common knowledge that the composer Charles Gounod and Fanny Hensel—sister of Felix Mendelssohn—met in Rome in 1839. Gounod had just been awarded the Prix de Rome and a scholarship to spend 12 months in the Eternal
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Lieder ohne Worte
Composer’s Fancy and Player’s Delight
How many composers can rightfully claim to have single-handedly invented a genre? Not that many, in fact, but Felix Mendelssohn would certainly be a strong candidate with his “Songs without Words.” Although Mendelssohn relied on an existing tradition of writing
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Dining with Ravel – The Ceramics of Clarice Cliff
When we think of composers as creative inspirations, we don’t often think of them appearing as coffee cups. The English ceramic artist, Clarice Cliff (1899-1972), started working in the pottery business when she was just 13 and became one of
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The Different Voices of Spring
What does Spring mean to you – a season of soft breezes? A season of soft mud? The return of the birds? The return of liquid water? The return of the green trees? Flowers pushing up through the snow? Or
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Modern American Influence: Bermel’s A Shout, A Whisper, and A Trace
America is a land of immigrants and this is just as true of its classical music as its cities. Clarinetist and composer Derek Bermel opens his mind to the musical influences in the world around him and his ears to
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