Author Archives: Christine Stevenson

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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Happy St Cecilia’s Day – Preludes by Clara Schumann, Cecile Chaminade and Lili Boulanger

It is November 22nd – birthday of W F Bach, Benda, Britten and Kapustin among others, and it is St Cecilia’s day, patron saint of music.  I’ve written elsewhere about Raphael’s painting of St Cecilia; this post is to celebrate … Continue reading

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