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  • 2013 October 16: Ravel & Music Lessons

    October 16, 2016 10:30

    Last week I played the first movement to Ravel’s Sonatine. This week is the second movement, a curious but charming 'minuet' (an old dance form in three beats to the bar).


  • 2014 November 16: BoĆ«llmann

    October 02, 2016 10:30

    Léon Boëllmann was born in Alsace, the son of a pharmacist. In 1871, shortly after the conclusion of the Franco-Prussian War, 9-year-old Boëllmann left the contested region of Alsace for Paris and entered the École de Musique Classique et Religieuse (School of Classical and Religious Music) in Paris, where he studied with Eugène Gigout (1844-1925), an eminent organist and musician of the day. Boëllmann there won first prizes in piano, organ, counterpoint, fugue, plainsong, and composition. After his graduation in 1881, Boëllmann was hired as choir organist at the Church of St. Vincent de Paul (a major church in Paris with two pipe organs — a smaller one used with the choir, and a much larger main organ), and six years later he became cantor and principal organist. (By the way, a previous choir organist there was Louis Braille (1809–1852), best known for the Braille tactile writing system for the blind.) (more )

  • 2016 September 11: Gymnopedie

    September 11, 2016 10:30

    Erik Satie was a French pianist and composer during the Impressionist period (early 20th century). After his mother's death when Satie was 6, he and his younger brother were sent to live with his grandparents. There he received his first music lessons from a local organist. When he was 12 his grandmother died, and the two brothers were reunited in Paris with their father, who married a piano teacher shortly afterwards. From the early 1880s onwards, Satie started publishing salon compositions by his step-mother and himself, among others. (more )

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