Monthly Archives: November 2014

A. Thomas and his Gavotte from Mignon

According to Wikipedia, Ambroise Thomas was a French composer, primarily of operas, who lived a long life in the 19th century.  The son of musicians, his early music education and jump on his performance career doubtless paved the way for his lifetime of moderate success.  For the majority of his life, he enjoyed a robust […]

Pizzicato, Strumming, and Minors

Wednesday’s lesson was big – we made it all the way to the end of Gavotte by Mignon, including the final pizzicato notes and finishing it off with two strummed chords (arpeggio, a word for which I had previously learned a more limited definition).  The piece is really something – as I continue to work […]


Of course we try to be grateful every day.  But I’m pretty pleased that as a society we take a whole day off for it once a year – it’s even one of the big ones, and it’s long been my favorite holiday.  A great many people in our society, including me, objectively have a […]

Long Song

Gavotte from Mignon is coming along.  It’s long, and it’s complicated.  There’s a passage that goes minor (I think I can say that) and even without that there’s a lot of back and forth between naturals and flats and sharps throughout.  Eventually accidentals just become the notes that you play – no big deal I’m […]

I’m no 10 Year Old

I was chatting with some friends last night about music for a moment  – she’s an academic in sociology/education; he’s a former-rocker now rabbi.  He’s also a record collector extraordinaire.  One wall of their condo is dedicated to a specially made built-in that contains more records than I’ve ever personally seen outside of a music […]

The Mutter Virtuosi Play Chicago

Chicago’s Symphony Center is a lovely place – an intimate enough setting to see one of the greatest symphonies in the world on a normal day.  It’s not at all off of normal for the hall to host greats, but even Symphony Center doesn’t get a star like Anne-Sophie Mutter everyday – the German violin […]

Chunks and Strings

My new Gavotte is coming along well enough.  I started the piece in the middle, and now I’ve gone back to the top.  It seems pieces of music can all be broken down into little chunks that make sense, kind of like a sentence can be pulled out of a paragraph as a standalone unit.  […]

The Mutter Virtuosi – Seasons, Ringtones, and an Octet

I spent a good chunk of yesterday reading up on Anne-Sophie Mutter, and listening to her play.  I’ve also been reading and learning more about the program I will hear Wednesday night – Vivaldi and The Four Seasons, Mendelsohn’s Octet, and a commissioned work by Currier called Ringtones. I’m especially excited about the program.  Vivaldi’s […]

Three Days

I get to go see Anne-Sophie Mutter play in three days! Thanks, Ryan

D.C. al Fine con Gavotte

I mentioned starting Ambroise Thomas’ Gavotte from Mignon a couple of weeks ago- I started in the middle of the piece with two lines that Teacher thinks are tricky.  And they are indeed tricky – I worked with them for a week and realized the critical element in those two lines is being in tune […]