Debussy Film and Preludes Event

Dr. Anthony Tobin, Music Director of Adam’s Music House, gave a double treat to a full house this past Sunday. Not only did he perform the first book of Claude Debussy’s Preludes for Piano, he also screened his short film “Le piano du reve”.

Dr. Tobin’s playing brought to life the shimmering world of Debussy’s pieces. From the majestic opening Danseuses de Delphes (Dancers of Delphi) to the playful Minstrels his control of sound and clarity held us all spellbound. Indeed, it felt as if we were experiencing  a only vague representation of our normal senses hearing La cathédrale engloutie (The Engulfed Cathedral) and the ethereal De pas sur la neige (Footsteps in the Snow)My personal favorite, La fille aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with Flaxen Hair), left me simply breathless. The sound of the seven foot Bösendorfer that was just recently returned to the performance space rang with a true, rich tone that Dr. Tobin took every advantage of.

In “Le piano du reve” Dr. Tobin demonstrates how the construction of Debussy’s Bleuthner piano inspired him to create the sound-scapes in the Preludes. Not merely theorizing about this possibility from a distance, Dr. Tobin gained access to the Bleuthner now housed in the Musee Labenche in Brive la-Gaillarde. The film frames the period in Debussy’s life when he married a second time, became a father, purchased the Bleuthner, and wrote both books of the Preludes. Playing on both a modern piano and Debussy’s, Dr. Tobin demonstrates the sound quality and keyboard response the Bleuthner opened for the composer. The film closes with Dr. Tobin’s performance of the virtuosic Feux d’artifice on the instrument it was imagined upon.

Thank you to all who came to our event and we look forward to seeing you again at Adam’s Music House. 

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens

During a recent trip to New York, Adam’s Founder Joe Bratcher and Artistic Director Anthony Tobin visited Strand Books and found “Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J.M Barrie, illustrated by Arthur Rackham.

Claude Debussy read the stories to his daughter Chouchou and was inspired by the vivid, victorian color drawings which depict the fantastic scenes of fairies and other mythical beings Peter Pan encounters. The Book II Prelude, “The Fairies Are Exquisite Dancers, was inspired by this stunning drawing:

The Fairies Are Exquisite Dancers

Hear Anthony Tobin playing “The Fairies Are Exquisite Dancers” in Steinway Hall Zurich, June 2018:

We are really excited to have this historic book in the collection at Adam’s Music House!

Adam’s Goes to the Met!

Our Founder Joe Bratcher and Artistic Director Tony Tobin just returned from a trip to NYC to glean new ideas and listen to music They heard Yefim Bronfman play the Beethoven Second Piano Concerto and the New York Philharmonic perform Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony. Bronfman has never played better and exhibited consummate control of tone, balance, and the beautiful Steinway D.

Next on the agenda was a wonderful performance of Verdi’s Aida at the Metropolitan Opera. The cast, staging, and music were top-notch and made for a wonderful evening.

Aida at the Metropolitan Opera in NYC

But the highlight of the trip was a performance of the not-often heard Pelleas et Melisande by Claude Debussy. Since Tony Tobin is a Debussy specialist who had never seen the opera live, this was a special treat. Not only did the cast and staging impress, the new conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, is a worthy successor to James Levine and tantalizes with the possibilities the Met will have in the future.

We also shopped for music for the collection at Adam’s once it arrives we will tell you more about it, but in the meantime here is a preview:

The Fairies Are Exquisite Dancers by Debussy was inspired by a drawing in this book

Please Join us February 9th at 2PM for Dr. Kiyoshi Tamagawa’s master class, we already have 5 great students lined up to play.

February 24th at 4PM Dr. Tobin will play the first book of Debussy Preludes and show his new film about Debussy’s special Bluethner piano.

March 2nd at 2PM Sophia Gilmson will give an encore master class. The last was sensational so we do hope you will attend!