Author Archives: Christine Stevenson

On Wagner’s Birthday – Liebestod – from Tristan und Isolde – Wagner/Liszt

Following  April 23rd’s post, written on the joint birthdays of Prokofiev and Shakespeare, today’s post is written on Richard Wagner’s birthday, and the piece is the Liebestod from his opera Tristan und Isolde, transcribed for the piano by Liszt. A … Continue reading

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Prokofiev – Ten Pieces from Romeo and Juliet Op 75

We all know the story. We’ve seen the play, we’ve watched the film, we’ve studied it at school, we know the quotes … Shakespeare’s characters, Romeo and Juliet, the ‘star-cross’d lovers’, have provided musical inspiration for Berlioz’s symphonie dramatique  of … Continue reading

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Liszt – A Tale of Two Women. Sonetto del Petrarca 104

 I have written elsewhere of Liszt’s Années de Pèlerinage, a set of three volumes plus a supplement, Venezia e Napoli , the composition of which spanned Liszt’s life from his twenties to his seventies, from youth to what used to be … Continue reading

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Robert Schumann – A Romance for Clara – Op 28 No 2

Married the day before her twenty-first birthday against her father’s wishes, Clara Wieck was a concert pianist, composer, editor, supporter of Brahms, promoter of her husband Robert Schumann’s music – oh, and mother of eight children, of whom one died in infancy. … Continue reading

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The Romantic Piano

Arriving at a concert venue to give a recital some years ago, I was greeted by the promoter, who whispered to me: ‘I didn’t know what title to give your recital, so I’ve called it The Romantic Piano‘.  A sensible … Continue reading

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A farewell to Preludes from the Square d’Orleans – Chopin, and his neighbour, Alkan

Two further Preludes by Chopin end this year’s series of posts; but before writing about them,  I couldn’t say farewell to 2017’s  topic, The Ubiquitous Prelude, without a mention of the Preludes by Alkan, who lived near Chopin for a … Continue reading

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Cesar Franck – Prelude, Chorale and Fugue

Imagine a vast, darkened church, built on a huge scale, with candles flickering in the gloom before statues in alcoves along the aisles. A slight whiff of incense lingers in the air. Far up in the organ loft at the … Continue reading

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