Für Alina: Arvo Pärt

Dr. Tobin first encountered this Estonian composer while on tour in Europe. Known for his vocal works, Pärt has also written the beautiful Fratres for violin and piano and a set of piano pieces, including Für Alina.

Dr. Tobin discusses how to approach this work of tone painting and concludes with a performance at Kulturplatz, Wetzikon, Switzerland.

Mozart Twinkle Variations

This episode of the Monday Pedagogy series features a look at how to approach variations. Dr. Tobin discusses how Mozart used texture to spin a rather magical set of pieces!

To hear a full performance of these variations, performed in concert by Dr. Tobin on a Walter Fortepiano Replica, listen to this:

The Fairies Are Exquisite Dancers

This week Dr. Tobin discusses this supernatural Prelude from Book II.

He shows the illustration which inspired it, Arthur Rackham’s illustration of the Fairies from “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens” by J.M Barrie, which we have in the collection of Adams Music House!

Dr. Tobin avoids being too technical for too long, and concludes this post with a performance of The Fairies Are Exquisite Dancers on the piano Debussy composed it on, his Bluethner in Brive la-Gaillarde, a charming Medieval town in Central France.

Sunken Cathedral

This week Dr. Tobin discusses Claude Debussy’s Book I Prelude Engulfed or “Sunken Cathedral”. It is based on the legend of the sunken town of Y off the Breton French Coast. Dr. Tobin discusses how Debussy paints the image of a sunken cathedral that rises from the depths of the sea. After the discussion, he includes are recording he made on the piano Debussy composed it on, the Bluethner in Brive la-Gaillarde, France. For further contrast, Dr. Tobin includes a video he made at Mont St Michel on the coast of Normandie and a recording made on a Steinway Model A piano in Wetizkon, Switzerland.