Slipping inside Fauré’s Nocturne No. 4

Nocturne: (noun) In music, a composition inspired by, or evocative of, the night, and cultivated in the 19th century primarily as a character piece for piano.  Falling in love with French composer Gabriel Fauré’s Nocturne No. 4 wasn’t one of those thunderclap experiences. It crept up on me, gradually. I’d been listening to this Fauré Nocturne CD … Read moreSlipping inside Fauré’s Nocturne No. 4

Possokhov and Scarlett bring two world premieres to the SFB stage

With The Sleeping Beauty all wrapped up at the War Memorial Opera House, it’s officially the halfway point for San Francisco Ballet’s 2019 repertory season. Last season’s Unbound: A Festival of New Works (which I blogged about HERE) gave the company twelve world premieres, several of which are being repeated this season. But 2019 brings its … Read morePossokhov and Scarlett bring two world premieres to the SFB stage

Green Book and Chopin’s stunning Étude

  If you’re a moviegoer who follows the Oscars, you might have seen Green Book, a 2018 movie about an Italian-American bouncer who chauffeurs an African-American pianist on a performing tour through the deep South in the 1960s. It stars actors Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, and I can’t say enough good things about it. What drew me, … Read moreGreen Book and Chopin’s stunning Étude

Mystery revealed: Schubert’s Impromptu No. 3 in G-flat

Tell me if this has ever happened to you: you’re out and about when you hear a brief passage of gorgeous classical music, which never gets identified, and it goes on to haunt you. Here was mine: I was in an art-house cinema years back, sitting in the semidarkness with my husband, waiting for the … Read moreMystery revealed: Schubert’s Impromptu No. 3 in G-flat

Yuja Wang, Wittgenstein and Ravel’s curious Piano Concerto for the Left Hand

  I suppose it’s not all that curious. If you are a concert pianist and your right arm is a casualty in World War I, afterwards you have two options. One: give up your music career and calling, do something inferior and cry into your soup for the rest of your life. Two: tell yourself, “All … Read moreYuja Wang, Wittgenstein and Ravel’s curious Piano Concerto for the Left Hand