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