La Terrasse des audiences du clair de lune

This is one of Claude Debussy’s most evocative Preludes, one of the last composed in December, 1912. It was inspired by an article in Le Temps which described the coronation of King George the V as emperor of India. It is Debussy’s answer to Wagernism, Twelve-tone harmony, and the logical completion of tonality that Brahms composed in his late piano works.

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.