Author Archives: Ryan Libel

Allegro

As I warmed up for my lesson yesterday, I managed to get through my Wohlfahrt etude that’s all sixteenth notes in 4/4 time at 120 bpm – allegro! I must say doing so felt like an accomplishment. But allegro with an etude and allegro with real music are different things – even getting there in […]

Program Music and the Human Male

The Archduke Rudolph of Austria was one of Beethoven’s closest friends and patrons.  A younger man than the composer, Beethoven began tutoring Rudolph when he was in his thirties and the Archduke was in his mid-teens.  Beethoven developed a strong bond with Rudolph – since he had no children himself, it seems likely that his […]

Busy with Beethoven

As I continue to read the Swafford Beethoven biography, I’m listening to Beethoven almost exclusively.  The author’s passion for the composer’s music is intense, and he imparts in me a desire to listen to all of it.  The biography presents works as they appear in Beethoven’s life, mostly chronologically, with an occasional hint about things […]

Beethoven: Touching Enlightenment and the Work

I’m reading a big Beethoven biography, which is providing great context for his work.  Significantly, Beethoven was born and raised in Bonn, a place where enlightenment thinking took root and blossomed.  Beethoven’s intellectual milieu holds a great interest to me, since his music seems to me to tap into something universal about humanity.  The biographer, […]

Breaking 100

Perpetual Motions are all about speed.  My current Perpetual Motion, the second piece with this title that I’ve played, is the second to last piece in Suzuki Book 4.  The first was in Book 1, a very basic piece that I haven’t gone back to in a while. My focus of the moment is bringing […]

Perpetual Motion

On Tuesday, Teacher and I worked through the rest of my newest song, Perpetual Motion.  This timeline for getting through a new piece is the shortest I’ve managed in a long time, and certainly the quickest in all of Book Four.  That’s not to say the piece is without complexity – it includes fourth position, […]

Studying Beethoven

Beethoven’s Sonatas for Piano and Violin were some of my early favorites as I embarked on a journey of discovery about my new instrument five years ago.  The Kreutzer and Spring Sonatas in particular – numbers nine and five respectively – have become some of my favorite music for the instrument.  I’ve been able to […]