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Sunday, August 6, 2017

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

The Rondo Capriccioso For Piano, Opus 14 by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), a German composer of the early Romantic Period (performed by Cuban-born, virtuoso pianist Jorge Bolet):

[about the Rondo Capriccioso, at Musical Musings]

Felix Mendelssohn may be best known for his connection to the music of the Christmas carol Hark! The Herald Angels Sing:
In 1840—a hundred years after the publication of [Charles Wesley's] Hymns and Sacred Poems—Mendelssohn composed a cantata to commemorate Johann Gutenberg's invention of the printing press, and it is music from this cantata, adapted by the English musician William H. Cummings to fit the lyrics of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, that propels the carol known today.


  1. Oh my! What an outstandngly brilliant performance of this favorite Old Chestnut in the classical piano repertoire. I must have heard every commercial recording ever made of the piece by now, but I've never heard one that could top this.

    Two of my aunts were good pianists –– one my mother's sister –– the other a longtime friend of the family who was not really my aunt, but who functioned in that capacity, because we ,ived in close proximity to ne another, attended tge same church, and our families had been very close since I was an infant.

    At any rate one of them played this piece very solid and cleanly, but not as fast as Mr. Bolet. I heared it many times as toddler, and I suppose this Mendelssohn was one of the things that impelled me toward wanting a career in music. I was absolutely spellbund by Aunt Dorothy's playing of this Mendelssohn

    I learned the piece, myself, at age eleven, and remember feeling very pleased with myself for doing it. It may have been good, because people always seemed very impressed by my efforts, but I have no way of knowing how good it really was. Suffice it to say that I DID play it, though my speed was patterned more after Aunt Dorothy's performances on her Baldwin Acrosonic spinet than any professional virtuoso. [I'd not yet heard the piece played in concert, which was to pove a humbling experience, needless to say]

    At any rate Mendelssohn's Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso will always have a very special significance for me.

    I heard Mr. Bolet perform live several tjmes at Carnegie Hall and at Hunter College. His virtuosity was never less than stupendous, though his musicianship in non-virtuosic literature sometimes lacked warmth and intimacy. His performnce of this Mendelssohn is one of the very best things I ever heard him do.

  2. Al Terego said

    It's absolutely disgusting the way virtually no one shows even a polite semblanceof appreciation for, or curiosity about, anything wonderful, beautiful, charming, brilliant, encouraging, intriguing, high-minded, intellectually stimulating or enlightening.

    Clearly the mind of the nation is strictly in the gutter where ill will, cheap sensationalism, bad grammar, rotten taste, and poisonous gossip dominate literally every aspect of life.

    All anyone needs to do to achieve Salvation is to reach out and take what's freely offered by all that's good, fair, honest, bright and clean. Why most turn from this as though it were an adversity is hard to fathom, but we do. That is why I believe Satan exists as a force we must contend with on a daily basis in order to avoid Perdition.

    1. Anonymous,
      It all comes down to the toxic times in which we live. I'm seeing this now reflected in, of all places, the homeschool movement. Standards are falling, mediocrity revered. I have very low enrollment for 2017-2018. I'll be damned if I'll lower my standards the last few years of my working career.

      Now I will seek out interested parties on the Chinese community. They have appreciation for high standards and, yes, Western music (classical).


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