Category Musical Passion

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Birthday

It’s a birthday – 42.  Like others lucky enough to have landed on this age, I can’t help but consider Douglas Adams’s supercomputer from his fabulous Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  In the universe Adams created, the computer is a mammoth device constructed over eons with one purpose – to reveal the answer to the […]

CSO’s Upcoming Season

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s 2018-2019 catalog arrived, along with a letter suggesting that due to my attendance habits I would benefit financially from a subscription.  When I received the same catalogue last year, I considered subscribing for this current season, but in the end didn’t.  That reluctance caused me to miss out on this past […]

Violin Grasshopper

I’m acquainted with a seven-year-old who has been playing the violin for a few months.  I’ve talked about my passion for the violin with him and his dad on several occasions – once I even helped them through a broken string crisis.  So we’re kind of violin buddies. On Thursday, his dad asked me if […]

The Mortal 80s

We hosted a dinner party last night, and as we often have for gatherings of our contemporaries, we chose music from the 1980s as the soundtrack – peppy, yet nostalgic.  I think Google Play picked a list it called “80s to sing along with” or some such.  None of us were singers, but at multiple […]