“Isle of the Dead” — a requiem for Liam Scarlett

You’ve quite possibly seen a copy of “Isle of the Dead,” a painting by Swiss symbolist artist, Arnold Böcklin. The dreamy, haunting portrait depicts a small rowboat traversing a lake. In the boat a figure shrouded in white stands, transporting a draped coffin, as the rower behind steers the boat to shore, a rocky island … Read more

Schubert’s seductive “Death and the Maiden”

I don’t consider myself to be someone easily seduced, much less by Death, but Schubert’s “Death and the Maiden” sears a haunting image on my psyche that has few equals in music. (One of them being, ironically, another Schubert piece, his Impromptu No. 3 that I blogged about HERE. And, okay, Debussy’s “Afternoon of a … Read more

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 more