Musical inspirations

“Musical inspirations” are some analyses, thoughts, and reflections about ensemble music-making whether singing or playing and some of the music written for this or or inspired by the repertoire.  We have been spurred into these thoughts mostly about the music we have been singing or playing, inspired by the rehearsals and practices we had to do when we prepare for our performances.  These writings therefore give a more in-depth background to our concerts.

We ponder on musical interpretation issues, we share our understanding of some of the music, we offer up behind-the-scenes commentaries on the musical activities some of us get involved in.  And most of all we hope to inspire!

We also aim to bring to these discussions the intersections between music and other disciplines, for example, the sciences and the social sciences, as well as the intersections between vocal music and instrumental music.  It is in looking at those intersections that new ideas and new insights are spurred.


Spring 2024

The art of “tuning in” and “matching”

Making dreams come true”: the art and science of putting concert programmes together

Songs in search of words, poetry in search of music, or songs without words?  Bach-Gounod or Schubert?  

Making dreams come true”: the art and science of putting concert programmes together

Winter 2022 

A pre-concert note on (one of the) most songful of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, the no 30, Op.109 

Our love for the Prélude, Choral & Fugue: a songful homage to Bach, a heavenly dance, and powerful silences

Song-inspired pianism: thinking about piano transcriptions of songs again, this time not just for 2-hands but also 4-hands

Romantic dreams of the counterpoint” – bringing Beethoven, Franck, Busoni, and Brahms together this December 

2021 onto 2022 

A pre-concert note #2: Liszt the song-writer, sonnet-lover, and consummate traveller  

A pre-concert note #1: Songs, sonnets, and Chopin’s two masterpieces for the piano    

Learning new songs, discovering great poetry   

Turning notes into music … and back: Viardot, Chopin, Liszt  


Thoughts on Beethoven: power, courage and C minor 

Winter 2019

Listening to the music of stars 

“Style and substance” in the new and serious French music: Franck’s heavenly music 

The 24 Preludes of Rachmaninoff (with a few side looks and diversions)  

Speak slowly to the stars: beautiful Adagios 

“Choose something like a star”: Choosing 5 songs about stars

Autumn / winter 2018

For the love of singing: the “magic machine”, an infinite palette of colours, and the piano that can sing in so many different ways

The noble Liszt, the song-inspired Liszt and “art that conceals art”

Spring / summer 2018

Schubert’s songs  

Schubert’s songs and Liszt’s tears 

Mozart and Liszt, inside the Sistine Chapel, song(s) in one’s head?

Summer 2017

Beautiful songs by contemporary composers – singing them and loving them – part 2 

Beautiful songs by contemporary composers – singing them and loving them – part 1 

Our love for Brahms’ Liebeslieder waltzes – part 1 – “pretty concert pieces”

Our love for Brahms’ Liebeslieder waltzes – part 2 – (Schubertian) dances, vocal quartet, 4-hand piano”

A post-concert note #1: imagine Brahms and Clara Schumann playing the piano together as you sing

A post-concert note #2: “Dirait-on”, Rilke’s roses, lots of rubatos, and interplay between the voices and the piano!

Summer 2016

Dear Mozart … and a note on Einstein, Saint-Saëns and musical colours

The French mélodie, Faure’s much-loved Cantique, and a note on the French tradition

Brahms, E flat major, E flat minor, and inner power



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