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  • 2017 July 2: My Country 'Tis of Thee

    July 02, 2017 10:30

    In Beethoven’s day a popular musical form was “Theme and Variations”. The template was to take a popular tune of the day — the ‘theme’ — which the composer states rather simply, and follow it with ‘variations’ which displayed the composer’s imaginative powers. Beethoven was regarded as the “Chuck Norris” of that form and wrote twenty-two sets just for piano. (more )

  • 2017 June 18: The Six Days of Creation

    June 18, 2017 10:30

    It so happens that the great uncle of the English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958) was none other than Charles Darwin (1809–1882). Ralph's grandmother taught Ralph to read using the same primer with which she had taught her younger brother Charles. Later there was a great kerfuffle among the family — like everywhere else — when the Origin of Species (1859) was published. Ralph, about thirteen at the time, asked his grandmother about it. She said, "The Bible tells us that God made the world in six days. Great-uncle Charles thinks it took rather longer. But we needn't worry — it is equally wonderful either way." 

  • 2017 June 11: Beethoven Trio Op.1 No. 3

    June 11, 2017 10:30

    Being Trinity Sunday I thought I’d feature a piece in which ‘Three’ figures prominently. And so we have a Beethoven TRIO sonata (THREE players), Opus 1 number THREE, in C minor (a key signature with THREE flats.) (more )